Food Additives

Topics: Food additive, E number, Antioxidant Pages: 4 (1032 words) Published: March 9, 2014
Food additives are substances that are added to the food. They serve as different functions such as preservation, flavorings and colorings, antioxidants, and stabilisers. They are added in the manufacture process intentionally or unintentionally. There are many different food additives, and they can be classified as natural or artificial.

Most food additives are naturally occurring, and some may even be beneficial. The common natural food additives such as citrus acid and ascorbic acid, for example, are categorized as food preservatives because they work on enzymes and disrupt their metabolism, which leads to the preservation.1 Food preservatives are very useful. It extends the shelf life of food items, which enables it to be stored for a period of time and not having to be consumed right away. However, due to its function, it might harm the friendly bacteria that can cause digestion problems, and etc.2 Food additives are also used to enhance the flavor or the color of the food item. This is to add the taste and visual appeal of the food. They include caramel, curcumin, and etc. These are made from natural ingredients such as sugar and turmeric. They are safe to consume. However, some artificial colorings such as amaranth or red 2G have been banned because it was said to may cause cancer. Tartrazine and sunset yellow are also artificial food colorings. Although it is not banned, it is linked with hyperactivity in some sensitive children. Artificial food additives mean that they are synthetic and man made. Another type of food additive is antioxidant. Oxidation of food is a destructive process, causing the loss of nutritional value and changes in chemical composition. Antioxidants are added to food to slow down the rate of oxidation. They can even extend the shelf life when used properly.3 One common antioxidant is propyl gallate. It is commonly used in food items and is also common in pet food. Despite its many uses, propyl gallate can cause side effects such...

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