Food additives are chemicals added to food to maintain flavour or improve its taste and appearance. Some additives have been used for centuries, for example, maintaining food by pickling (with vinegar), salting, as with bacon, preserving sweets or using sulphur dioxide as in some wines. With the arrival of processed foods in the second half of the 20th century, many more additives have been imported, of both natural and artificial agents. There are many types of additives used in processed foods and consumers are sometimes concerned about their safety and the need for using them. Why use food additives?
Additives are used so that these foods still have a consistent high quality. In some products, they are so important that additives are used even in various organic foods. Other reasons that food additives are used include: * Maintains or improves the nutritional value of food
* Improves the palpability of a food or makes it more appealing * Improves storage life of a food * Provides aids to manufacturing, producing, packing, packaging, processing, preparing treating, transporting, holding or storing food * Serves as a preservative only when necessary because there is no alternative practical means of preservation of the food. Potential risks of food additives
Although these additives are important for food storage, they can give rise to certain health issues. They can cause different allergies and conditions such as hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder in some people who are sensitive to specific substances. The foods containing additives can cause asthma, hay fever and certain reactions such as rashes, vomiting, headache, tight chest, hives and worsening of eczema.
Explain why food supplies benefit from food additives Our food supplies benefit from food additives because they make food last longer and it is more convenient for consumers. Canned foods for example make food last for years without getting spoilt but if you get a can and its dented you shouldn’t eat the contents because they could be poisoned from the metal of the can.