Description Of Major Food Additives

101 Toxic Food Ingredients

101 Toxic Food Ingredients

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Practically every food manufacturing operation depends in some degree on the use of food additives, but the range of additives necessary for the formulation varies (Table 2). Of the variety of ways food additives have been classified, most involve functional grouping. Although chemical classifications may be useful, because they place molecules of similar structure and physical-chemical properties in comparable categories, compounds of a single chemical family may perform different functions in the food industry. Therefore, the following brief description of the major food additives is based on functional classification.

Anticaking Agents

Food products that contain hygroscopic substances require the addition of an anticaking agent to inhibit formation of aggregates and lumps and thus retain the free-flowing characteristic of the products. Such chemicals as calcium aluminum silicate, calcium phosphate tribasic, magnesium carbonate, magnesium silicate, calcium stearate magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and sodium aluminum silicate at a level of 1.0% or less have been suggested as effective anticaking agents in free-running salt and in dry powdered mixes. Colloidal silicon dioxide is also used at a level of 1.0% as an anticaking agent in salt (NaCl). The decahydrate of sodium ferrocyanide or Yellow Prussiate of soda at the extremely low level of 5 ppm causes the formation of star-shaped crystals of sodium chloride rather than the usual cubical ones. The star-shaped crystals known in the trade as dendritic salt possess nonsegregating properties; hence, they are less likely to cake.

Antifoaming (Defoaming) Agents

Antifoaming agents are substances used to reduce foaming caused by proteins or gases that may interfere with processing. Foaming may be largely suppressed or completely eliminated by the use of small quantities, generally about 10 ppm, of dimethylpolysiloxane, mono- and diglycerides, oleic acid, silicon dioxide, white mineral oil, and a number of other fatty acids. These compounds have been suggested for use in the preparation of certain comminuted meat products, bakery products, confections, dairy products, vegetable oils, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, jams and jellies, molasses, soups, starches, syrups, and pickles.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are described in the "Preservatives" section of this article.

Bleaching, Maturing, and Dough-Conditioning Agents

Because some chemicals serve as both bleaching and maturing agents, and others are referred to as dough-conditioning agents or bread improvers, it is perhaps desirable to consider all of them under one heading.

Bleaching agents are used in the production of certain cheeses, processed fruits, crude fats and oils, and meat products to neutralize color that may be present naturally. As an example, after crude oils are refined to remove impurities, they must be further treated by bleaching to remove coloring materials that are usually present in crude fats and oils. Sulfuric and metaphosphoric acids and hydrogen peroxide have been used for this purpose. Calcium hypochlorite is used in bleaching sugar syrup prior to crystallization.

Bleaching plays special importance in the flour milling and baking industries. Freshly milled wheat flour has a yellowish color, caused by the presence of small quantities of carotenoid and other pigments. Such flour also lacks the quality necessary to make elastic, stable dough. When such flour is stored and allowed to age for several months, it gradually becomes whiter because of oxidation and matures, making it acceptable for baking. For many years,

Table 2. Selected Food Additives and their Major Uses

Processed/cured Dairy Jams/ Pickles/ Breakfast Cookies/ Baked Mayonnaise/ meats products Jellies sauces cereals crackers goods dressings

Anticaking agents X

Table 2. Selected Food Additives and their Major Uses

Processed/cured Dairy Jams/ Pickles/ Breakfast Cookies/ Baked Mayonnaise/ meats products Jellies sauces cereals crackers goods dressings

Anticaking agents X

Antifoaming agents

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