“Food additives” been commonly named as preservatives in India are actually secondary chemical compounds. These food additives may be natural or synthetic in nature. There is a wide range of food additives namely Acidity Regulator, Acids, Anticaking Agent, Antifoaming Agent, Antioxidant, Bulking Agent, Colour, Colour Retention Agent, Emulsifier, Emulsifying Salt, Firming Agent, Flour Treatment Agent, Flavour Enhancer, Foaming Agent, Gelling Agent, Glazing Agent, Humectant, Preservative, Propellant, Raising Agent, Stabilizer, Sweetener, Thickner. They are been added to food keeping in mind a specific effect which they have on food’s chemical or physical composition.
Are Food Additives really important ?
Food additives are very essential in the current food technology systems and manufacturing processes. Nowadays many countries are also opting for the use of food additives to avoid the major economical losses resulting from food spoilage. This can be only achieved by preserving these foods by adding food additives. Preserving food items helps to stop the growth of microorganisms and makes them much more safe for human consumption.
Reasons for using Food Additives :
- Preserves the foods from harmfull microorganisms such as bacteria and molds for a longer time
- Convenience in transportation, manufacturing and storage
- Helps improve the taste and texture of the food items
- Improves the appearance or colour of the food
- Helps improve the nutritive values
- It helps avail seasonal foods abundantly all year round for the consumers
- Improves the quality and enhances the appealing factor to the consumers
- Huge production becomes possible in the times of festivals.
Are Food Additives safe ?
Some people claim that food additives are not safe. But speaking in a practical sense, there is no food which is 100% safe at all times. Food additives are totally safe when used in a specified quantity and a proper way. In today’s time, it has become necessary to use food additives to overcome numerous problems faced by the food items.