FOOD 2010 CHAPTER 7
7.1 What is a food additive?
- substance added to food
- more useful definition is that it is a chemical or other substance that becomes part of a
food product either intentionally or accidentally
- most food additives are intentional additives
- intentional additives: purposely added and includes things such as sugar, salt,
corn syrup, baking soda, citric acid and vegetable coloring.
- these must receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration before they
can be used in foods.
- indirect additives are contaminants - substances that accidentally get into foods
during production, processing or packaging.
- adulteration is the deliberate addition of cheap ingredients to a food to make it appear
to be of high quality.
The uses of Food Additives
- additives are important in an industrial society because it helps keep food wholesome
and appealing while en route to market and are key in maintaining the food qualities and
characteristics consumers demand
- Key uses for food additives
- Maintain product consistency Certain ingredients such as emulsifiers,
stabilizers, thickeners and anticaking agents help ensure consistent food
texture and characteristics
- improve or maintain nutritional value Nutrients in food can either be lacking
or lost during processing. Cereals, milk, margarine and other foods can be
enriched or fortified by additives such as Vitamin A and D, ascorbic acid, niacin,
iron, riboflavin, thiamin and folic acid
- maintain palpability and wholesomeness Foods naturally lose flavor and
freshness due to aging and exposure to natural elements such as oxygen,
bacteria and fungi. Preservatives such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA),
butylated hydrotolulene (BHT), ascorbic acid, and sodium nitrate help to slow
product spoilage and rancidity while maintaining taste
- provide leavening or control acidity/alkalimity leavening agents enable
cakes. biscuits and other backed goods to rise during baking. Certain additives
modify the acidity and alkalinity of foods for proper flavor, taste and color.
- enhance flavor or import desired color many spices and natural and
synthetic flavors enhance the taste of foods while color additives enhance the
appearance of certain foods to meet consumer expectations.
- Principles or requirements that guide the application of each additive:
- safety of a food additive for human consumption must never be in doubt.
- a food additive must function in food systems in accordance with its stated
function under specific conditions of use. AKA efficacy - a food additive must not significantly diminish the nutritional value of the food in
which it is functioning, nor should it be used to compensate for improper
manufacturing practices or inferior product characteristics in a way what would
deceive the consumer
- a food additive should be detectable by a defined method of analysis.
Major types of food additives
- classified by the FDA into more than two dozen groupings of substances based upon
their functionality. Certain additives can have multiple functions.
- anticaking and free-flowing agents substances that keep ingredients in a
power form for ease of incorporation into formulations during product
manufacture Ex. talc, silicates
- antimicrobial agents act to inhibit growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds and
thus functions as preservatives
- antioxidants act to inhibit the oxidation of fats and pigments, which would
otherwise result in product rancidity and altered color
- colorants, or food colors, are added to certain foods to offset color loss due to
storage or processing of foods, or to correct for natural variations in food color
- artificial colorants include certified FDA dues (water-soluble colorants
available in a powder, liquid or paste form) and lakes (suspensions of
organic colorants coated onto metallic salts).
- curing agents for meats contain sodium nitrate, which helps retain the pink
color of cured meats and acts as a preservative
- dough strengtheners are substances used to improve the machinability of
bread dough during processing.
- emulsifiers keep fat globules dispersed in water or water droplets dispersed in
fat. Examples are Lecithins, monoglycerides, and diglycerides. Distinct
emulsifiers are emulsifying salts, which function to enhance natural emulsifier
activity in food systems such as process cheese.
- enzymes biological catalysts that occur naturally in foods, are used by the food
industry for use as beneficial food additives
- flavorings may be natural or synthetic and are added for flavor production or
- flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate and flavor potentiator
substances identified chemically as 5’- nucleotides are used to make
foods taste more delicious (“umami effect”)
- humectants substances that attract water within a food product, which may
lower the products water activity.
- leavening agents such as baking powder are used to enhance the leavening
effect, rise, or “oven spring” of dough in baked products
- nutritional additives are added boost nutrition intake and provide for a more
- enrichment denotes the addition of nutrients lost during processing in
order to meet a specific standard for a food
- fortification the addition of nutrients, either absent or present in
insignificant amounts - nonnutritive sweeteners compounds that provide much greater sweetness
intensity per amount when compared to sucrose
- nutritive sweeteners are compounds that provide significant calories from
carbs in addition to a level of sweetness intensity
- oxidizing agents occur in food mainly as residuals from application as
sanitizing agents of food processing equipment
- pH control agents are acidulants, which lower food pH, and alkalis or alkaline
compounds, which increase food pH
- processing aids include not only acidulants and alkalis, but also buffers and
- sequestrants act to combine with metal elements, such as copper and iron,
which are active in oxidation reactions.
- can also protect antioxidants to extend their effectiveness
- stabilizers and thickeners combine with water in foods to increase product
viscosity, to form gels and o prevent product crystallization
- surface active agents or surfactants act as wetting agents, lubricants,
dispersing agents, and emulsifiers, by affecting the surface tension of materials
present in food systems.
- added to reduce stickiness, promote mixing, improve baking properties,
and either destabilize foams or promote foaming
2. 7.2 Food laws and Regulations in the United States
- Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): a yearly codification of rules published in
the Federal Register by agencies of the Department of Health and Human
Services and the Department of Agriculture
- proposed rule written whenever a change is needed in an agency’s regulations
- has a 60 day comment period
- proposed rules are developed to implement legislative requirements but
not all rules are based on laws
- may be developed to implement legislative requirements, to clarify a
particular policy, or as a response to suggestions received by an agency
- after the clearance process, it is published in the Federal register and the
comment period begins.
- each rule, proposed or final - has two parts
- preamble: discusses the chance being made by the rule
- regulatory text: describes how the CFR is being changed by the
- finalized rule once the 60-day comment period is completed, comment from he
public are reviewed and categorized based on the relevance of their support of
the changes proposed in the rule
- codifying the final rule into the CFR once a year, the Federal register codifies
all changes made by interim and final rules during the year into a new revision
of the CFR
Early events and Legislation - Pure Food Congress event focused national attention on the growing movement to
enact federal legislation against misbranding and adulteration of foods
- Food and Drug Act of 1906 law prohibited interstate commerce in misbranded and
adulterated food, beverages and drugs
- Meat Inspection Act passed to regulate meat quality and safety.
The 1938 FFDCA and Amendments
- Federal Food, drug and Cosmetic act of 1938 basic modern food law which gave
the FDA authority over food and food ingredients and defined requirements for truthful
labeling of ingredients
- standard of identity: a detailed listing of the type and quantity of ingredients and
means of preparation
Food additives Amendment of 1958.
- Food additives amendment (FAA): requires FDA approval for the use of an additive
prior to its inclusion in food
- also requires manufacturer to prove an additives safety for the ways it would be
-Two exempted groups of substances from additive regulation process:
- prior sanctioned substances (sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate, which are
additives used to preserve luncheon meats)
- GRAS substances (Generally categorized as Safe): those whose use is generally
recognized by experts as safe, based on their extensive history of use in food because
1958 or based on published scientific evidence.
- color additives amendments: requires dyes used in foods, drugs, cosmetic and
certain medical devices to be approved by the FDA prior to their marketing.
- the Delany cause: no additive shall be deemed to be safe if it is found to induce
cancer when ingested by man or animal , or its if found, after tests which are
appropriate for the evaluation of the safety of food additives, to induce cancer in man or
- developed a “zero-cancer-risk” standard for food additives
Other legislation and Significant Regulatory Actions
Processed Foods innovations
- chemogastric revolution: foods that used new chemical ingredients and packaging,
and they set the stage for future legislation concerning additives and manufacturing
- Fair Packaging and Labeling Act passed o counter problems with underweighing of
products. Each label was required to identify the product, the name and place of
business of manufacturer, the net quantity of contents, and the net quantity of a serving
when the number of servings is represented
Pesticides and Toxicants
- aflatoxin: made for following the outbreak of “turkey x disease”.
- action level: is a level for contamination of a food, below which no court enforcement
action is necessary - Cyclamates: alternative sweetener used in beverages, was banned as a food