Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Food Additives and International Trade

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_383



This entry aims to outline major ethical concerns relating to food additives and to identify the consequent trade-related issues. It begins with a brief account of the functional and economic rationales for using food additives in processed foods, proceeds to an identification of the ethical concerns associated with their use, and then examines the ways in which these concerns have been addressed. In conclusion, the entry discusses some implications of the ethical analysis presented for international trade in foods containing additives.


Several thousand different chemicals are currently added to processed food. The use of food additives has been integral to developments in the global food industry over recent decades, which are characterized by terms such as “agribusiness” and “food processing.” In consequence, the traditional links between...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BiosciencesUniversity of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington CampusLoughboroughUK