Food Chemistry pp 434-473 | Cite as

Food Additives

  • H.-D. Belitz
  • W. Grosch
  • P. Schieberle


A food additive is a substance (or a mixture of substances) which is added to food and is involved in its production, processing, packaging and/or storage without being a major ingredient. Additives or their degradation products generally remain in food, but in some cases they may be removed during processing. The following examples illustrate and support the use of additives to enhance the:
  • Nutritive Value of Food Additives such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and amino acid derivatives are utilized to increase the nutritive value of food. A particular diet may also require the use of thickening agents, emulsifiers, sweeteners, etc.

  • Sensory Value of Food Color, odor, taste and consistency or texture, which are important for the sensory value of food, may decrease during processing and storage. Such decreases can be corrected or readjusted by additives such as pigments, aroma compounds or flavor enhancers. Development of “off-flavor”, for instance, derived from fat or oil oxidation, can be suppressed by antioxidants. Food texture can be stabilized by adding minerals or polysaccharides, and by many other means.

  • Shelf Life of Food The current forms of food production and distribution, as well as the trend towards convenient foods, have increased the demand for longer shelf life. Furthermore, the world food supply situation requires preservation by avoiding deterioration as much as possible. The extension of shelf life involves protection against microbial spoilage, for example, by using antimicrobial additives and by using active agents which suppress and retard undesired chemical and physical changes in food. The latter is achieved by stabilization of pH using buffering additives or stabilization of texture with thickening or gelling agents, which are polysaccharides.


Gluconic Acid Sweet Taste Hydrophilic Lipophilic Balance Sorbic Acid Bake Product 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • H.-D. Belitz
    • 1
  • W. Grosch
    • 1
  • P. Schieberle
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für LebensmittelchemieTechnischen Universität MünchenGarchingGermany

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