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