Food Additive

     
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food additive, any of various chemical substances added khổng lồ foods to lớn produce specific desirable effects. Additives such as salt, spices, & sulfites have been used since ancient times khổng lồ preserve foods và make them more palatable. With the increased processing of foods in the 20th century, there came a need for both the greater use of and new types of food additives. Many modern products, such as low-calorie, snack, and ready-to-eat convenience foods, would not be possible without food additives.

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There are four general categories of food additives: nutritional additives, processing agents, preservatives, and sensory agents. These are not strict classifications, as many additives fall into more than one category. For more information on additives, see emulsifier; food colouring; nutritional supplement; & preservative.

Nutritional additives

Nutritional additives are used for the purpose of restoring nutrients lost or degraded during production, fortifying or enriching certain foods in order to correct dietary deficiencies, or adding nutrients khổng lồ food substitutes. The fortification of foods began in 1924 when iodine was added lớn table salt for the prevention of goitre. Vitamins are commonly added lớn many foods in order to lớn enrich their nutritional value. For example, vitamins A và D are added lớn dairy and cereal products, several of the B vitamins are added lớn flour, cereals, baked goods, & pasta, và vitamin C is added khổng lồ fruit beverages, cereals, dairy products, và confectioneries. Other nutritional additives include the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, minerals such as calcium và iron, và dietary fibre.

Processing agents

A number of agents are added lớn foods in order khổng lồ aid in processing or khổng lồ maintain the desired consistency of the product.


Processing additives and their uses function typical chemical agent typical sản phẩm
anticaking sodium aluminosilicate salt
bleaching benzoyl peroxide flour
chelating ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, dried bananas
clarifying bentonite, proteins fruit juices, wines
conditioning potassium bromate flour
emulsifying lecithin ice cream, mayonnaise, bakery products
leavening yeast, baking powder, baking soda bakery products
moisture control (humectants) glycerol marshmallows, soft candies, chewing gum
pH control citric acid, lactic acid certain cheeses, confections, jams & jellies
stabilizing và thickening pectin, gelatin, carrageenan, gums (arabic, guar, locust bean) dressings, frozen desserts, confections, pudding mixes, jams và jellies

Emulsifiers are used khổng lồ maintain a uniform dispersion of one liquid in another, such as oil in water. The basic structure of an emulsifying agent includes a hydrophobic portion, usually a long-chain fatty acid, and a hydrophilic portion that may be either charged or uncharged. The hydrophobic portion of the emulsifier dissolves in the oil phase, & the hydrophilic portion dissolves in the aqueous phase, forming a dispersion of small oil droplets. Emulsifiers thus form và stabilize oil-in-water emulsions (e.g., mayonnaise), uniformly disperse oil-soluble flavour compounds throughout a product, prevent large ice crystal formation in frozen products (e.g., ice cream), & improve the volume, uniformity, và fineness of baked products.

Stabilizers và thickeners have many functions in foods. Most stabilizing & thickening agents are polysaccharides, such as starches or gums, or proteins, such as gelatin. The primary function of these compounds is khổng lồ act as thickening or gelling agents that increase the viscosity of the final product. These agents stabilize emulsions, either by adsorbing lớn the outer surface of oil droplets or by increasing the viscosity of the water phase. Thus, they prevent the coalescence of the oil droplets, promoting the separation of the oil phase from the aqueous phase (i.e., creaming). The formation and stabilization of foam in a food sản phẩm occurs by a similar mechanism, except that the oil phase is replaced by a gas phase. The compounds also act khổng lồ inhibit the formation of ice or sugar crystals in foods & can be used khổng lồ encapsulate flavour compounds.

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Chelating, or sequestering, agents protect food products from many enzymatic reactions that promote deterioration during processing và storage. These agents bind to lớn many of the minerals that are present in food (e.g., calcium và magnesium) & are required as cofactors for the activity of certain enzymes.