Benzoic Acid

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BENZOIC ACID & BENZOATES (210 –218)

• Retards growth of bacteria and yeasts

• Occurs naturally in many foods – a similar distribution to salicylate (but at a lower dose than as an additive)

• Common food sources:

Soft drink, cordial, fruit juice and cider

Liquid essences and syrups

Iceblocks, jelly, low joule jam, dips, pickles, olives

Fish marinades and preserves

• PABA (para-amino-benzoic-acid) can be used in vitamin supplements, creams and sunsceen lotions

PROPIONIC ACID & PROPIONATES (280 – 283)

• Anti-fungal/anti mould food preservative, esp in bakery products

• Naturally-occurring fatty acid e.g. found in sweat, occurs as natural preservative in Swiss cheese

• May be produced naturally in baking when whey powder is used (eg in many “preservative-free” breads)

• Common food sources:

Bread, crumpets, muffins

Other bakery goods

Noodles

ARTIFICIAL ANTI-OXIDANTS (310 –321)

• Retard or prevent oxidation in fats and oils, and prevent discolouration of cut fruits

• Are heat resistant, so effective in baked products

• Common food sources:

Oil, margarine, dairy blends

Salad dressings

Fried snack foods

Pastry, scones, biscuits

Note: natural antioxidants are OK – includes vitamin C (codes 300 –304),
Vitamin C derivatives (codes 317, 318) & Vitamin E (codes 306 –309)

SORBIC ACID & SORBATES (200 – 203)

• Inhibit growth of yeast & moulds, between pH 4-6. Limited effect on bacteria, so often used as a cheese preservative (allows fermentation by lactic acid bacteria)

• Common food sources:

Cottage cheese, processed cheeses and cheese products

(eg spreads)

Margarine, dips, yoghurts

Fruit juice, cordials, syrups

Some dried fruit (moist varieties such as figs, prunes)

Crumpets

NITRATES & NITRITES (249 – 252)

• Curing agent for meat – converts iron-containing pigments in the flesh to stable bright-pink compounds

• Preservative against botulism bacteria

• Common food sources:

Processed meat products eg salami, fritz, corned beef, ham and bacon

Canned cured meat products

NATURAL COLOUR ANNATTO (160b)

• Also known as bixin or norbixin

• A yellow dye from the seed coats of the tropical annatto tree

• Common food sources:

Margarine, cheese, icecream, yoghurt, custard

Noodles

Breakfast cereals

Frozen oven-bake chips

Lollies

Biscuits, cakes and baked goods

SULPHITES (220 – 228)

• An old food additive – used by ancient Greeks and Romans to preserve wine

• Acts to prolong shelf life, slow browning reactions (to maintain colour), stabilises vitamin C, and is an improving and bleaching agent

• Added to wine and beer to inhibit growth of undesirable yeasts and prevent secondary fermentation

• Inhaled sulphur dioxide can cause bronchoconstriction in asthmatics, and sulphites in food may release sulphur dioxide when eaten

• Must now be declared on food labels if present in concentrations of 10 mg/kg or more – now noticeable on many more food labels

• How much is driven off during cooking eg when glucose syrup is boiled to make lollies?

• Common food sources:

Cordial, fruit juice, tomato juice, soft drink, wine, beer, cider

Dried fruit and products containing dried fruit, dessicated coconut...
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