Written by Bina Naik | 
Medically Reviewed by dr. reeja tharu / dr. sunil shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on May 16, 2019

Functions of Food Additives

Food additives are mainly used to maintain the quality and consistency of food apart from improving its taste and flavor. They have also been used as a preservative from the early ages.

Some of the common functions of Food Addictives are:

  • Taste: Improves the taste or appearance of any food product, e.g. glazing agents on fruits.
  • Preservative: Preserves food by increasing its storage life, e.g. preservatives like sodium benzoate in squashes.
  • Quality: Increases the quality or stability of the food, e.g. humectants added to mixed dried foods, antioxidants prevent fats from becoming rancid.
  • Color/Flavor: Provides the right color and improves the flavor, e.g. commercially available coloring agent curcumin used in turmeric powder.
  • Consistency: Maintains the consistency of the product, e.g. anti-caking agents that prevents lumping together of the prepared food.
  • Convenience food: Helps to prepare convenience foods, e.g. frozen peas.


  1. Food Science: Third Addition - By Norman Potter
  2. Anticaking Agents - (http://www.foodadditivesworld.com/anticaking-agents.html)
  3. Hydrogenated Sperm Oil: Sec 173.275, of Ch 1 "Food and Drug Administration, Dept of Health and Human Services", Code of Federal Regulations.


belmarra Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thanks for such good post. Food additives is used in to food to preserve flavor or enhance its taste and appearance.Food additives is to be divided into several groups all are acidic in nature .artificial food additives have been linked with cancer, digestive problems, neurological conditions.

srmcurology Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Centre for Science for the public Interest in the USA reports that - Hazards in food cause an estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year, most of which are never reported to public health officials. These illnesses cost American taxpayers approximately $6.9 billion annually in medical costs, hospitalizations, and lost work time according to the Economic Research Service (USDA).

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