Classification of Intentional Food Additives

Food Standard and Quality Control

Lesson 21 : Food Additives

Classification of Intentional Food Additives

Leavening Agents:
Leavening agents produce light fluffy baked goods. Originally, yeast was used almost exclusively to leaven baked products. It is still an important leavening agent in bread making. When yeast is used, ammonium salts are added to dough to provide a ready source of nitrogen for yeast growth. Phosphate salts (sodium phosphate or calcium phosphate) are added to aid in control of pH.

To make light cakes, biscuits, waffles, muffins, and many other baked products, chemicals leavening agents arc used. Baking powders generate CO2 for leavening purposes. pH control agents. These include acids, alkalis and buffers. They not only control the pH of foods but also affect a number of food properties such as flavour, texture, cooking qualities etc. The acid in particular may be derived from natural sources such as fruits, and from fermentation, or they may be chemically synthesized, like any pure chemical compound, whether the additive is from natural or synthetic sources, its properties and degree of wholesomeness are identical

Firming Agents:
Fruits like tomatoes, berries, apple slices and mangoes, and vegetables like cauliflower, nod potato soften on canning or freezing. The pectic substances impart a stable texture to these products. Chemicals like calcium, magnesium and aluminium are used as firming agents. The most commonly used agents are calcium chloride, calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, calcium iodate, calcium gluconate and mono calcium phosphate. Alum is added to fermented brined pickles like cucumber and vegetables to make them crisp and firm.

Clarifying Agents:
Pectin degrading enzyme preparations which may contain other enzymes like diastase, etc., are used for clarifying fruit juices. Gelatin, album, methyl cellulose, and proteolytic enzyme preparations like papain and bromelin are suggested for chill proofing of beer. Haze formation seen in clarified apple juice during storage is overcome by treatment with gelatin.

Anti-Foaming Agents:
Silicones (dimethyl polysilocone) are used as antifoaming agents in boiling syrups and jellies, fermentation of wine or bottling of fruit juices and beverages, and acetyl alcohol in fermentation industry.

Flavouring Agents:
These includes (1) essential oils (2) esters of aliphatic and aromatic alcohols with fatty acids (3) alcohols (4) aldehydes and ketones (5) hactones (6) phenols (7) phenolic and others (8) aliphatic acids. Flavours are used in the form of essential oils, oleoresins, natural extracts, or as essence.

Monosodium glutamate, pyroligneous acid and flavour nucleotides-5- ribonucleotides, and guanilic acid are used as flavour enhancers in meat products and sources, which do bring out the natural flavour intensifiers in lemonade, limeade, canned orange, grapefruit and pineapple juice.

Anticaking Agents and Desiccants:
Mannitol is used as anti-sticking agent at 1.0% in chewing gums, and calcium and magnesium stearate are used in onion and garlic salt or powders. Talc is added to vitamin supplements to render them free flowing, calcium carbonate is used in hard candies to prevent sticking while tribasic calcium phosphate is used as anticaking agent in table salt, powdered sugar and malted milk powder. Silica gel and starch are used as desiccants

Nutrient Supplements:
Principal among these are the vitamins and minerals added as supplements and enrichment mixtures to a number of products. Major cereal products, iodine added to salt, vitamin A added to margarine, cheese made from bleached milk, and dietary fat in formulas; and vitamin C added to fruit juices and fruit flavoured desserts.

Non-nutritive Sweeteners:
A food additive which duplicates the effect of sugar on the taste, but with fewer calories is known as non-nutritive sweetners. They are also called sugar substitutes. The first synthetic sweetening agent used was saccharinic sodium ortho benzenesulphonamide or the calcium salt, which is about 300 times sweeter than sucrose in concentrations upto the equivalent of a 10% sucrose solution. Cyclamates (sodium and calcium salts of cyclamic acid, cyclohexans, suiphamates), were widely used as sweetening agents in the manufacture of soft drinks, other low-calories liquid foods and dietetic forms of foods. But now their use is restricted as they are considered as carcinogenic.

Newer non-nutritive sweetening agents, ranging in sweetness from 10 to 3,000 times of sucrose have been discovered. Glycyrrhizic acid obtained from the roots of Glycyrrhizaglabra is used in tobacco products, confectioneries and beverages. Meoheepiridine dihydrochalcone isolated from citrus peels is about 1,000-2,000 times as sweet as sucrose.
A potentially useful low-calorie sweetener is the diester of L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine. The methyl ester of L-aspartyle-L-phenylalanine, is reported to be 100-200 times sweeter than sucrose, with taste characteristics very similar to those of sucrose.

Last modified: Monday, 20 February 2012, 10:39 AM