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According to Food Protection Committee of the Food & Nutrition Board, Food additives maybe defined as “A substance or mixture of substances, other than a basic food stuff, which is present in a food as a result of any aspect of food production, processing, storage or packaging”. The term does not include chance contaminants.
· It provides protection against food spoilage during storage, transportation, distribution and processing.
· It is included in the preparation of convenience foods like jams and jellies.
· To fortify or enrich the foods.
· It is used to add colour, flavour, firmness and retards or hastens chemical reaction in food.
· To maintain nutritional quality of food.
· Used as a preservative and colouring agent.
The food additives can be classified as following:
· Colouring agents
· Anti oxidants
· Artificial sweeteners
· Flavouring agent
· Emulsifiers, Stabilizers and Thickeners
· Flour improvers
· Curing agents
· Chelating agents
· Leavening agents
Preservatives are the compounds used to prevent and retard the microbial spoilage of food. They are classified in to
· Class I and
· Class II preservatives.
Class I preservative: They are natural substances and addition of it in food is not restricted. Eg. Salt, sugar, honey, vegetable oil, spices etc.
Class II preservative: They are chemical substances which should be included in food in a restricted quantity. Eg. Benzoic acid, Sorbic acid etc.
It is a dye, pigment or substance to impart colour in the food. It is classified into
· Natural colours ( Naturally available Eg. Turmeric)
· Synthetic colours ( Synthesised from fruits, vegetables and chemicals Eg: Tartrazine, sunset yellow)
These are said to be sugar substitute which contains less energy, which are not produced naturally. Eg. Saccharin, Aspartame, Dulcin etc.
Antioxidants are added to oils and fats to prevent oxidative rancidity Eg. Ethyl Propyl, Octyl Gallates etc
They form a divergent group of organic compounds both natural and synthetic in nature. Eg. Menthol, vanillin etc.
A variety of organic compounds form the group of emulsifiers, stabilizers and thickening agents Eg. Guar gum, Gelatin, Agar-agar etc.
These are moisture retention agents. It controls viscosity, texture, bulking, retention of moisture, reduction of water activity, control of crystallization and improvement of softness. Eg. poly hydroxyl alcohols.
These are bleaching and maturing agents used to bleach and mature the flour. Eg. Benzyl peroxide.
These are additives to preserve meat, give them desirable colour, flavour, and discourage microbial growth. Eg. Sodium nitrite
These are anti oxidants. They serve as scavengers of metals which catalyze oxidation. Eg. Ethylene Diamide Tetraacetic
Leavening agent causes expansion of dough and batter by releasing gas and gives porous structure. Eg. Yeast , Baking powder and baking soda
· Hydrogenated Fats— It cause cardiovascular disease and obesity
· Artificial Food Colors— It leads to allergies, asthma and carcinogenic
· Nitrites and Nitrates— Carcinogenic
· Sulfites(sulfurdioxide,metabisulfites, and others)— It leads to allergy and asthmatic reactions
· Sugar and Sweeteners— It leads to obesity, dental cavities, Hypoglycemia and diabetes
· Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, AcesulfameKandSaccharin)—Itcause behavioral problems, hyperactivity, allergies. The government has given statutory warning against the use of any artificial sweetener for children and pregnant women foods.
· Preservatives (BHA, BHT, EDTA, etc.)— causes allergic reactions, hyperactivity, and liver problems
· Artificial Flavours— leads to allergic and behavioral problems
· Refined Flour— low-nutrient calories, carbohydrate imbalances, altered insulin production
· Salt (excessive)- Increase in blood pressure
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