Historical Development And General

Phosphates exhibit functional properties in a wide variety of foods produced by all segments of the processed food industry. The availability of sodium, potassium, ammonium, calcium, and magnesium phosphates offers food technologists and food scientists formulation flexibility to control taste, nutritional, and other technical properties. The commercial use of food phosphates may be traced to 1864 when the first U.S. patent was granted for a phosphate-containing baking powder (1). The use of emulsifying salts in Europe for production of process cheese products began about 1895 and has been reviewed (2). Principal development in the United States began in 1916 (3). Since World War II new uses have developed in food products, including meats, poultry, seafood, beverages, dairy products, infant foods, cereals, desserts, produce, and nutritional supplements. Various detailed reviews have been published (4-6).

The largest market for food phosphates in the world is the United States where processing techniques and advanced food technology follow the consumer trends and demands for high-quality convenient foods. Phosphate use in food applications is an important segment of the overall industrial phosphate market. The U.S. consumption of food phosphates was estimated to be 87,0001P2O5 in 1993, excluding phosphates sold into dentifrice applications and phosphoric acid sold directly into the food industry (7). The second largest market of food phosphates, Western Europe, is approximately 37,000 t P205 (1993), including the dentifrice market (7). The growth rate of food phosphates in the United States was predicted to be 1.5 to 2.3% annually (1993-1998, including phosphoric acid) while that predicted for Western Europe (1993-1997) was relatively flat (7). The bakery market segment represents approximately 40% of the food phosphates consumed in the United States while the meat, poultry, and seafood applications represent an estimated 30% of the phosphate consumed, followed by dairy (14%) and other (16%) (7).

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