Substances which are of little or no nutritive value, but are used in the processing or storage of foods or animal feed, especially in the developed countries; includes antioxidants; food preservatives; food coloring agents; flavoring agents; anti-infective agents; vehicles; excipients and other similarly used substances. Many of the same substances are pharmaceutics aids when added to pharmaceuticals rather than to foods. Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or enhance 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. With the advent of processed foods in the second half of the 20th century, many more additives have been introduced, of both natural and artificial origin. It is sometimes wrongly thought that food additives are a recent development, but there has certainly been an increase in public interest in the topic. Not all of this has been well-informed, and there are signs that commercial interests have been influenced by consumer pressure, as well as food producers manipulating the situation by marketing techniques. Various labeling regulations have been put into effect to ensure that contents of processed foods are known to consumers, and to ensure that food is fresh-important in unprocessed foods and probably important even if preservatives are used. In addition, we also need to add some preservatives in order to prevent the food from spoiling. Direct additives are intentionally added to foods for a particular purpose. Indirect additives are added to the food during its processing, packaging and storage. Food Preservatives are the additives that are used to inhibit the growth of bacteria, molds and yeasts in the food. Some of the additives are manufactured from the natural sources such as corn, beet and soybean, while some are artificial, man-made additives. Most people tend to eat the ready-made food available in the market, rather than preparing it at home. Such foods contain some kind of additives and preservatives, so that their quality and flavor is maintained and they are not spoiled by bacteria and yeasts.
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R. M. Pandey and S. K. Upadhyay (February 22nd 2012). Food Additive, Food Additive, Yehia El-Samragy, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/34455.