20 Must Have Food Additives for the Food Industry- WorldOfChemicals

Food Additives

Food additives

The pursuit of happiness through the enjoyment of having or eating and cooking food was dates back from out ancient civilizations. The process of cooking was started by our ancestors Neanderthals.

Ancient civilizations like Roman civilizations, Greece civilizations, Egyptian civilizations, Chinese civilizations, Indian civilizations will show the different food styles ranging from having raw food to usage of sulfur to seal wine packing to using herbs, spices for cooking.

Even though different food cooking styles, shelf life of food is crucial and even more qualities required for tastier food. Additional products which are required to do these activities are called food additives.


Without food additives food will be

  1. Taste less

  2. Colorless

  3. No texture

  4. No shape

  5. No flavor

  6. No freshness

  7. No alkalinity

  8. No acidity

  9. No proper ph value

  10. Dried

  11. Spoil

  12. Infected with bacteria


Food additives are defined as

“It is any chemical whether natural in origin or synthetic which is not normally taken as a food or consumed as a food instead they are added to food products to enhance quality and desirable properties of food.”

Food additives may not be providing any nutritional value to food products but food additives are added intentionally to boost food qualities either of directly or indirectly.


Based on direct or indirect effects of food additives in food products they are classified as

  1. Direct food additives
  2. Indirect food additive


Food Additive Market Trends

Transparency Market Research has surveyed food additives market for the year of 2012-2018. Market Research results states that food additives market revenue was 28.2 billion in the year of 2011.

Market research results also revealed that food additives market revenue expected to reach 36.1 billion by 2018 year.

Europe’s food additives demand for the year of 2011 was 32 per cent of global food additive consumption.

When considering US demand and revenue will be 3.5 per cent and USD 8.5 billion respectively by 2014.

North America’s food additives demand may cross USD 9.1 billion by 2018.

Asia pacific’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to be reach 5 per cent during the periods of 2012-2018.

In specific food additives like flavors and flavor enhancers demand expected to cross USD 12 billion by 2018.

The major companies which are into food additives market include

  3. BASF

The total number of food additives that are approved by different government authorities and used by different industries is around 2300.

Out of 2300 food additives, each food additives has their own property which impart to food products.


Some food additives used are: 


Anticaking Agent

Anticaking Agents mainly used to prevent lumps, deicing foods. Anticaking Agents are added to foods, fertilizers, salts, cosmetics in small portions. These additives works by absorbing moisture content in foods and by water repelling property


Antifoaming Agents

Antifoaming agent is mainly used to prevent foam formation and for reducing surface tension in foods. Antifoaming agents also used in coke, sprite and other carbonated soft drinks. These are used in drugs to reduce bloating.


Food Emulsifier

Food Emulsifiers will make food as appealing appearance. Food Emulsifiers are the major effective food additives of structure, texture, taste, quality and freshness of foods. It also acts as unmixable agent between oil and water component of some foods. Food Emulsifiers often termed as emulgents.


Firming Agents

Firming agents are food additives and these are added to fruits, vegetables, canned foods, pickles to keep firm or crispy, structure. Calcium chloride as a firming agent can be used in canned vegetables, in firming soy bean curd.


Flavor Enhancers

Flavor Enhancers are commonly used for luscious foods to boost the existing flavor in the food. Flavor Enhancers customize flavors, stability of pepsi, pizza dough and other types of foods without contributing to any significant flavor of their own.


Flour Treatment Agents

Flour treatment agents intensify texture, strength, softness, crumb structure and color of bread loafs. Ascorbic acid is the commonly used flour treatment agent. Flour treatment agents keep homogenous appearance during fermentation process.


Food Acids

Food Acids


Food acids are found in natural sources like orange, lemon, berries, and plumps. Citric acid, maleic acid and tartaric acid are the best known common food acids. These imparts different flavor, tinge to foods. Some times food acids may acts as antioxidants, preservatives.


Gelling Agent

Gelling agent are commonly added to food to impart gel texture. Gelling agents also gives shape, structure to foods. Gelatin, pectin are regarded as common gelling agents. Gelling agents sometimes called as solidifiers.


Food Glazing Agents

Food Glazing Agents also referred as polishing agents. Food Glazing Agents are providers of shiny, homogenous, waxy and surface protection. Beeswax and lanolin are the most common food glazing agents.



Humectants are food additives which primarily retain and preserve moisture content of food and cosmetic products. Humectants also used in tobacco products, coatings for plastics, skin care products, body lotions, hair conditioners. Glycerine, sorbitol, propylene glycol are the examples of humectants.




Preservatives prevent chemical changes, microbial growth of foods, wood, pharmaceuticals, paints, biological samples and retain flavor and nutritional values of food for a longer time. Food preservatives like sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate, calcium sorbate, and glycolic acids are common examples.



Propellants are commonly used in whipped creams, carbonated drinks. Propellants make carbonated drinks expel out of their containers. A propellant creates more pressure to liquid food so that it will come out of their containers and even dispense foam. Common propellants used are Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen, Nitrous oxide, Butane, Isobutane, Propane, Octafluorocyclobutane.





Seasoning is refers to process of adding herbs, spices and condiments to food for enhancing their natural flavor and taste. Cardamom Oil, salt are the commonly used seasoning agents. Seasonings are used while before or after the food is cooked.



Sequestrant improves quality and stability of food by forming chelating complexes with polyvalent metal ions in foods. Bile acid sequestrants lower LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Sequestrants like Sodium Gluconate, Sodium Triphosphate and Calcium Polyphosphate well known examples for this category.



Stabilizers are the substances which maintain color, shape, texture, consistency and stability of food products. Stabilizers can be used for cosmetics, plastics, processed foods. Agar agar, pectin, carrageenan, calcium chloride, alginic acid are the chemicals commonly used as stabilizers in cosmetics, foods, dairy products.




A sweetener is the replica of the normal sugar but varies in low energy and calories. Sweeteners may be natural and synthetic. Synthetic sweeteners are termed as artificial sweeteners. Examples for artificial sweeteners are like aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, neotame.





Thickeners are the modified forms of starch, polysaccharide and vegetable gums. In the preparation of sauces, stews, gravies thickeners are added. Thickening agents used to food preparations for improving their suspension, viscosity without changing their taste.


Acidity Regulators

Acidity regulators also called as ph controlling agents. Acidity regulators alter the acidity and alkalinity of food products. By controlling acidity in foods the growth of bacteria can be avoided from foods. Acidity regulators like lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, adipic acid are commonly used for food products.



Antioxidants are the protectors of body cells from free radicals. Antioxidants also prevents from cancers, arthritis, blockage of arteries caused by fatty acid deposition. Food products can be preserved by using antioxidants.


Bulking Agents

Bulking agent is food additive which increases volume or weight of food without disturbing its utility, functionality, nutritional value and as well as taste. Bulking agents also used in slimming foods, beverages, bakery products, condiments, seasonings, as filler in vitamins. Guar gum, psyllium, polydextrose, methylcellulose and pectin are the examples for bulking agents.


Food Enzymes

Food Enzymes


Food enzymes are products obtained from plants, animals or microorganisms or by a fermentation using microorganisms. Food enzymes are capable of mediating chemical reactions in food products when digestion process started and serves as supplements, weight loss agents. Food enzymes may classify as bakery enzymes, brewing enzymes and dairy enzymes.





Neutraceuticals are nutritionally rich and provides medical benefits, health benefits, energy. Neutraceuticals useful for prostate function and insomnia remedy. Neutraceuticals are considered as functional foods. Beta-carotene, Alpha-carotene, Zeaxanthin, Cryptoxanthin, Astaxanthin are common used neutraceuticals. Some type of amino acids, essential oils, vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts are served as neutraceuticals.


Food Colorings

Food colorings are color enhancer for the solid foods as well as liquid food and make them more appealing. Food colorings are also called as color additives are. Food colorings made from natural sources and from organic materials and used in industries like cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, home crafts.


Color Retention Agents

Color Retention Agents works by binding to oxygen molecule present in food products, thereby it inhibits from color changing. Color retention agents also used in canned foods, fruit juices and bottled foods.


Vegetable Gum

Vegetable Gum is derived from vegetables and plant sources and polysaccharides in nature. Vegetable Gums used in cosmetics, food industries, shampoos, facial scrubs, shaving creams. These serve as a rich source of dietary fiber. Vegetable Gum acts as a stabilizer, texturizer, humectants, thickener, gelling agent and binding agent in food industry, beverages.


Food Improving Agents

Food improving agents are the substances which intentionally added to food products to maintain or improve properties. Types of food improving agents include food additives, food enzymes and flavorings.


Color fixatives

Color fixatives are the food additives which are added to foods to make more attractive, vibrant, appealing and fresh-look. Sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, tartaric acid and stannous chloride are commonly used color fixers.


Beverage additives

Beverage additives

Beverage Additives are a type of food additives mainly used for liquid foods, beverages. Beverage Additives implies taste, color, coolness, and refreshing sensation to beverages. Carbon dioxide is one of the beverage additives which retains the taste and functions of some carbonated drinks.


Other food additives

Other food additives in animal foods are added to modify different food characteristics like taste, color, flavor, acidity and alkalinity. Fatty acids like linoleic acid, calcium, iron, and dietary fibres are common examples of other food additives.


Veterinary Foods Additives

Animal feed additives are substances which are used in animal foods to supply nutrients, flavor or aroma and different food characteristics. Animal feed additives also used in animal food for optimal growth.


Foaming agent

Foaming agent is a type of food additive need to be added in certain food products for the formation of foam. Foaming agent also maintain foam integrity. Foaming agent usually used in food industry and apart from this it can be used in soaps and detergents industry.


Dietary and nutritional supplements

Dietary and nutritional supplements give physiological and nutritional effect when they consumed along with food products. There 50,000 dietary and nutritional supplements available. A dietary and nutritional supplement provides energy, health, immune system, athletic performance.

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