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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
The study investigated the health impacts of food additive E171 (titanium dioxide nanoparticles) which is commonly used in high quantities in foods and some medicines as a whitening agent.
The FDA insists the six artificial flavours "do not pose a risk to public health," but concedes that the law requires it not approve the food additives. Food companies will have at least two years to remove them from their products.
This report summarizes the conclusions of the 79th meeting of the Joint FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)/WHO (World Health Organization) Expert Committee on Food Additives that was convened in Geneva, Switzerland, in June 2014 to evaluate the safety of various food additives, including flavoring agents, and to outline specifications for identity and purity.
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.
Even when notices are submitted, "there is no disclosure to the FDA of those conflicts of interest," said co-author Maricel Maffini, a Washington-based expert on food additives for Pew.
Summary: A reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatographic method for the successful separation and determination of 6 synthetic food additives (aspartame, acesulfame potassium, benzoic acid, sodium saccharin, tartrazine and sunset yellow) was developed.
It contains only food additives the safe use of which has already been scientifically evaluated.
Meeting of Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. (72nd: 2010: Rome, Italy).
This number includes 4,646 GRAS substances, 5,292 food additives, and 849 "other" substances-color additives, pesticide chemicals/residues, and prior-sanctioned substances.

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