the free encyclopedia.
Food additives can be divided
into several different groups, although there is some overlap between
Food acids are added to make the
flavour of foods "sharper", and also act as preservatives and
antioxidants. Common food acids include vinegar, citric acid, tartaric
acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, lactic acid.
Acidity regulators are used to
change or otherwise control the acidity and alkalinity of foods.
Anticaking agents keep powders such
as milk powder flowing freely, rather than sticking together in
Antifoaming agents reduce or prevent
foaming in foods.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C act
as preservatives by inhibiting the effects of oxygen on food, and are
generally beneficial for your health.
Bulking agents are additives used to
increase to bulk of a food without affecting its nutritional
Food colorings are added to food to
replace colours lost during preparation, or to make food look more
Colour retention agents
In contrast to colourings, colour
retention agents are used to preserve a food's existing colour.
Emulsifiers allow water and oils to
remain mixed together in an emulsion, as in milk, mayonnaise and ice
Flavours are additives that give
food a particular taste or smell, and may be derived from natural
ingredients, or created articially.
Flavour enhancers enhance a food's
Flour treatment agents
Flour treatment agents are added to
flour to improve its colour or its use in baking.
Humectants prevent foods from drying
Preservatives prevent or inhibit
spoilage of food due to fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms.
Propellants are any substances used
to expel food from its container.
Stabilizers, thickeners and gelling
agents work with emulsifiers to give foods a good texture, like Agar,
or the pectin used in jam.
Sweeteners are added to foods for
flavoring. Other sweeteners than sugar are added to lower the food
energys in food, or because they have beneficial effects for diabetes
mellitus and tooth decay.