Food Additives in General

Food additives are used to preserve the quality of the food and maintain its appeal and at times to restore diminished nutritional value.

Additives are added to food to perform different technological functions, for example, to increase shelf life (preservative), or to protect against rancidity (antioxidants).

Food additives also improve the taste or appearance of processed food and keeping quality or stability of a food.

Wastage of food is a loss and should be avoided at all costs.

Food additive can be divided into two major groups, intentional additives and incidental additives.

Intentional additives are chemical substances that are added to food for specific purpose.

The use of additives in food is controlled by separate legislation relating to for example, colors in food, sweeteners, miscellaneous additives (other than colors and sweeteners) and flavorings.

What is the definition of food additive:
The term food additive means any substance the intended use of which result, or may reasonably be expectedly to result, directly or indirectly in its becoming a component or other wise affecting the characteristics of any food (including any substance intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting or holding food; and including any source of radiation intend for any such use).

There are three classes of intentional additives:
*Additives generally recognized as safe (GRAS)
*Additives with prior approval
*Food Additives

Adverse reactions to food additive occur in a small proportion of the population. More people are intolerant to foods themselves than to food additives.

Intolerance does not depend on whether the food additive is derived form natural or synthetic source.
Food Additives in General

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