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Give an Account of the Range and use of Food Additives

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Alex H. 13C 07/03/01 Give an Account of the Range and use of Food Additives Food Additives are natural and synthetic compounds added to food to supply nutrients, to enhance colour, flavour, or texture, and to prevent or delay spoilage. There are four basic types of food additives. Antioxidants retard the oxidation of unsaturated fats and oils, colourings, and flavourings. Oxidation leads to rancidity, flavour changes, and loss of colour. ...read more.


Thickening agents are natural or chemically modified carbohydrates that absorb some of the water that is present in food, thereby making the food thicker. Thickening agents "stabilise" factory-made foods by keeping the complex mixtures of oils, water, acids, and solids well mixed. Since ancient times table salt has been a preservative for fish, ham, and bacon, and sugar has been used to preserve jelly, fruit jams, and fruit preserves. At present more than 2500 food additives of all kinds are known. ...read more.


Colouring agents, natural and synthetic flavourings, and flavour enhancers such as monosodium glutamate are added to make food more appealing. More than 1750 natural and synthetic artificial flavourings are known. Other additives such as agar and gelatine are used as texturizers or emulsifiers in ice cream and frozen desserts. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate the use of food additives in the U.S. Coloring agents in particular are rigidly controlled, with 33 of them considered safe by the FDA. Because of a growing market for "natural" food products, a trend toward producing foods with fewer or no additives has been noticeable in recent years. ...read more.

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