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Food additives

 Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or improve its taste and appearance. Some additives have been used for centuries; for example, preserving food by pickling (with vinegar), salting, as with bacon, preserving sweets or using sulfur dioxide as in some wines.


  Food additives can be divided into several groups, although there is some overlap between them.

  • Acids

 Food acids are added to make flavors and also act as preservatives and antioxidants. Common food acids include vinegar, citric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, lactic acid.

  • Acidity regulators

 Acidity regulators are used to change or otherwise control the acidity and alkalinity of foods.

  • Anticaking agents

 Anticaking agents keep powders such as milk powder from caking or sticking.

  • Antifoaming agents

 Antifoaming agents reduce or prevent foaming in foods.

  • Antioxidants

 Antioxidants such as vitamin C act as preservatives by inhibiting the effects of oxygen on food, and can be beneficial to health.

  • Bulking agents

 Bulking agents such as starch are additives that increase the bulk of a food without affecting its nutritional value.

  • Food coloring

 Colorings are added to food to replace colors lost during preparation, or to make food look more attractive.