food additives

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food additives,

substances added to foods by manufacturers to prevent spoilage or to enhance appearance, taste, texture, or nutritive value. By quantity, the most common food additives are flavorings, which include spices, vinegar, synthetic flavors, and, in the greatest abundance, sweeteners (e.g., sucrose, corn syrup, fructose, and dextrose). Colorings are another type of additive. Most colorings are synthetic dyes, but some (e.g., chlorophyll, beta carotene, and caramel) are naturally formed chemicals. Preservatives are divided into antioxidantsantioxidant,
substance that prevents or slows the breakdown of another substance by oxygen. Synthetic and natural antioxidants are used to slow the deterioration of gasoline and rubber, and such antioxidants as vitamin C (ascorbic acid), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and
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, such as BHT, BHA, and ascorbic acid, which help prevent fats and oils from turning rancid or fruit from spoiling, and antimicrobial agents, which hinder the growth of mold and bacteria (see botulismbotulism
, acute poisoning resulting from ingestion of food containing toxins produced by the bacillus Clostridium botulinum. The bacterium can grow only in an anaerobic atmosphere, such as that found in canned foods.
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). Additives that help produce a desired texture include emulsifiers, which keep substances such as mayonnaise from separating, and stabilizers, including gelatin, pectinpectin,
any of a group of white, amorphous, complex carbohydrates that occur in ripe fruits and certain vegetables. Fruits rich in pectin are the peach, apple, currant, and plum. Protopectin, present in unripe fruits, is converted to pectin as the fruit ripens.
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, and carrageenan, which prevent the formation of ice crystals in ice cream. Other food additives include nutrients and leavenings, such as yeast and baking soda. Food additives comprise approximately 10% (about 150 lbs) of the food consumed by the average American adult. Many health experts and consumers have become more vocal in their criticism of the excessive and potentially dangerous use of food additives, particularly food colorings. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administrations is responsible for testing the safety of and regulating the use of food additives.


See K. T. Farrar, A Guide to Food Additives and Contaminants (1987); M. Huls, Food Additives and Their Impact on Health (1988).

References in periodicals archive ?
Pauls amendment, which he introduced after hearing about this issue from a Kentucky company, requires the FDA to consider data from studies conducted in other countries when a company submits those studies as part of their food additive petition.
In addition, restructuring of the food processing companies and the desire for natural ingredients in food and drinks products is expected to further drive the growth of the food additives market.
Another troubling but nevertheless common food additive is potassium bromate, used to strengthen bread and cracker dough and help such items rise during baking.
This state of affairs might not matter if all food additives were safe at current levels of intake.
Different liquid chromatography methods have been reported so far for determination of some food additives in food.
The federal government also made safety decisions on 1,483 direct food additives, 3,007 indirect food additives, 802 food-contact substances, 120 prior-sanctioned substances, 148 color additives, and 581 pesticide chemicals/residues.
of to ca st pbcI Ever since I read an excellent scientific study done on school children and their parents, which showed no association between food additives, food colouring and children's behaviour (especially ADHD), I've been sceptical.
However, he added that some of the food additives have serious problems with respect to their halal status.
According to the report, when Congress passed the Food Additives Amendment of 1958, it created a structure that has limited FDA's ability to effectively regulate substances added to food because the law:
The International Food Additive Database uses the Codex General Standards for Food Additives (GFSA) as its baseline.
Nonimmunologic adverse reactions that may mimic food allergic reactions include gastrointestinal disorders, sensitivity to food additives and psychologically based adverse reactions.
The 69th meeting of the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives was held in Rome during June 2008, and it was there that reports on research findings were reviewed, perhaps revised in cases, and accepted or rejected.

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