The Effect Of Food Additives

Food additives play a crucial role in food production. It is necessary for us to learn about several kinds of food additives we often encounter in our daily life.

Acid regulator: Sour and Sweet is what I am

Food flavoring agents are essential to get good taste and color. An acid regulator is a kind of seasoning agent, also called sour taste agent. Adding acid to food can give people refreshing stimulation (for example, “Xiudou”, which is known for their acidity inside and outside of China.), has the effect of enhancing appetite and it also has a specific antiseptic effect.

It is divided into inorganic acids and organic acids. The inorganic acid commonly used in food is phosphoric acid. Frequently used organic acids are citric acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, ascorbic acid, gluconic acid, etc.

Phosphoric acid can replace citric acid and malic acid in the beverage industry, especially in non-fruit drinks which are not suitable for citric acid. It can be used as a PH regulator in the brewing industry and as yeast nutrient solution in yeast factory to promote nuclear growth. In animal fat can also be used with antioxidants, in the process of making sugar as a sugar clarification agent.

Citric acid is found in plants, animal tissues and milk. Citrus fruits are high in content. Crystalline citric acid is white transparent or white crystalline powder. Anhydrous citric acid is a colorless crystalline grain or white powder without odor or acidity. Citric acid is the most functional and versatile acid. It has a high solubility and a strong ability to chelate metal ions. 

In addition to being used as acid flavor agent in food, it is also used as preservative, antioxidant synergist, pH value regulator, etc. Its maximum dosage should be by regular production needs, and ADI is unlimited. (ADI refers to the daily intake of a substance for life without producing detectable amounts of health hazards. ADI is marked by the amount of intake per kilogram of body weight, that is mg/(kg•d). The greater the ADI value, the higher the safety of the food additive.)

Lactic acid was first found in yogurt, so it was named after that. Lactic acid used in food (50% content) can be used as an acid flavor agent in a cool drink, sour milk drink, synthetic wine, synthetic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce oil, pickles, etc. Pickles and Chinese sauerkraut made from lactic acid fermentation not only have the function of seasoning but also have the function of preventing the reproduction of hybrid bacteria.

Malic acid which is more abundant in apples is therefore named. Its acidity is mild and long-lasting, and in theory, can replace all or most of the citric acid used in food and drink. The average dosage was 8% to 12% less than that of citric acid (mass fraction) when the same effect was achieved. In particular, malic acid is used in fruit flavor foods, carbonated drinks and so on, which can effectively improve its fruit flavor. The maximum dosage should be in accordance with standard production requirements. No special requirements are needed for ADI.

Fresh keeping agent:  taste fresh food safely all year round.

As the name implies, Fresh keeping agent are food additives used to keep vegetables, fruits, meat and other perishable foods fresh; Thanks to the Fresh keeping agent, foods such as ham sausages, sausages and canned deli meats sold in supermarkets can retain their flavor for a long time; Because it’s a fresh keeping agent, we can eat all the year round to away from the long-distance transportation of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Food Fresh keeping agents commonly used are benzoic acid, butyl hydroxyl anisole and dibutyl hydroxyl-toluene. Among them, butyl hydroxyl anisole is a good Fresh keeping agent and has no toxicity in the standard limited concentration. Its maximum consumption for food shall not exceed 0.2 g/kg of fat. Butyl hydroxyl anisole, as a fat-soluble antioxidant, is suitable for fatty food and fat-rich food. Due to its good thermal stability, it can be used in oil - frying or roasting conditions.

In recent years, the research on natural Fresh keeping agent has attracted the attention of scientists from all over the world. A large number of natural fresh keeping agents are popular, such as tea polyphenols, natural vitamin E, polylysine and chitosan. Chitosan is a natural polymer. 

Using chitosan to coat fruits and other fruits to keep fresh, its membrane layer is permeable and water-repellent, which can increase the penetration resistance of various gas molecules, forming a kind of micro-air conditioning environment. 

Therefore, the content of carbon dioxide and oxygen in fruit and vegetable tissues increased and decreased, which inhibited the respiration metabolism and water loss of fruits and vegetables, and slowed down the aging of fruit and vegetable tissues and structures, to effectively preserve the freshness of fruits and vegetables.

Preservative: extend the shelf life of food

Food preservatives can inhibit microbial activity and prevent food from spoilage, thus extending the shelf life of food. Most beverages and packaged foods need to be preserved for a long time, often with food preservatives added. As it is related to people's health, among all kinds of preservatives, food preservatives are the most restricted. 

China has only approved more than 30 types of permitted food preservatives, all of which are of high quality. They have been subjected to a large number of scientific experiments before being approved for use, including animal breeding and toxicology tests and identification, and have been proved to have no acute or chronic harm to human body.

Commonly used are benzoic acid, sodium benzoate, sorbic acid, potassium sorbate, calcium propionate, etc. In recent years, preservatives in food have begun to develop in the direction of safety, nutrition and pollution-free. New antiseptic agents such as glucose, oxidase, fish protein, lysozyme, lactobacillus, chitosan, pectin, etc., have appeared and have been approved for use by the state.

In fact, as long as the variety, quantity and scope of food preservatives used by food manufacturers are strictly controlled within the range prescribed by relevant standards, there will be no harm to human health and people can eat them with confidence.