Intentional food additive

Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or enhance its taste and appearance. Some additives have been used for centuries; for example, preserving food by pickling with vinegar, salting, as with bacon, preserving sweets or using sulfur dioxide as in some wines.

Sometimes additives are divided into two categories:
1. Intentional or direct
2. Incidental or indirect

Intentional or direct food additives are commonly those that have been deliberately added for some special function by the food processor (usually the company), while indirect additives are usually those that may have drifted into food products in minute quantities due to e.g. growing, processing, or packaging phase during the food production process.

Intentional additives have been purposely added to foods to achieve specific effects during production or processing or to impart or retain desired characteristics.

Today, more than 2500 different additives are intentionally added to foods to produce a desired effect. The use of these additives is a well-accepted practice but is not without controversy.

A food additive may only be authorized if:
• Its safety has been evaluated on the basis of the available scientific evidence
• On the basis of this evaluation, it is considered to present no hazard to the health of the consumer at the level of use proposed
• There is a technological need for its use that cannot be achieved by other economically and technologically practicable means
Intentional food additive

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