The use of food additives dates back to early civilizations. We learn to use additives for quality foods, using natural preservatives. This keeps our food safe. And also helps us to get quality food.
Of course, there are a few food additives that are bad for health. We will discuss the harmful food additives list in the next blog.
Today we will discuss different types of food additives which are good.
How to use additives for quality foods
Food additives are used to preserve the nutritional quality of foods. Most often, foods are added with additives so that they can be shipped to far places. This helps in preserving the food quality and also makes the food more attractive.
Vitamin A prevents darkening of canned fruits. Rennet is one of the important enzyme which easily coagulates milk for cheese production. Thus, additives are used in food processing as well.
Coloring agents like annatto gives orange cheddar its color. Dough conditioners helps bread rise and eliminate large holes.
Gelling, emulsifying and thickening agents changes food texture. Firming agents prevents green peas from being flattened when canned.
Carnuba wax is used to prevent surfaces of food from drying and prevent wrapped candy from sticking together in the bag. When you buy candies for your kids, you see the candles melts and sticks to the wrappers. Those candies lacks carnuba wax as food additives.
Additives like benzoate and sorbate prevents cheese derived foods from mold. Extraction solvents such as ethanol are used to isolate components which enrich the nutrition of foods.
Naturally found additives for food preservations
In my locality, farmers used marigold leaves to ripen the bananas. They says, marigold leaves helps in giving the perfect yellowish color of banana naturally.
Some spices and herbs are also used to improve the flavor of food. Rosemary and Sage herbs can do the work of anti oxidants. However, they impart a strong color or flavor to the foods.
From the commonly used spices and herbs, essential oils from cloves, oregano and thyme are used as food additives as they contains eugenol, carvacrol and thymol.
These essential oils have highest antimicrobial properties to preserve food stuffs.
A new breed of protective natural additives are small proteins. They are called bacteriocins and used widely as food additives.
Yoghurts are added with this natural additives. Bacteriocins are produced by some good bacteria to kill competing organisms such as Listeria monocytogenes.
Natural Colorants are often used as food additives. Natural colorants are mostly derived from plant, animal, and mineral sources, while synthetic colorants are primarily petroleum-based chemical compounds.
Foods without any additives looks grey and dull in the market. We need to use additives for quality foods which are safe to consume.
Researchers and food technologies are working towards naturally occurring additives in the future. Indeed, additives helps the food to enhance its color, texture and flavor.