What are food additives?

Food additives are substances added to food to preserve its flavour, texture, color, and nutritional value. They are used to enhance the taste, appearance, and shelf life of processed foods. Here are the key points to help you understand food additives:

Food additives are substances that are added to food during production, processing, or packaging.

Purpose: Food additives serve different purposes, such as enhancing flavor, texture, and color, increasing shelf life, preventing spoilage, and improving nutritional value.

Types: There are different types of food additives, such as preservatives, sweeteners, colors, flavors, emulsifiers, and stabilizers.

  • Safety: Food additives must be safe for consumption, and regulatory agencies such as the FSSAI assess their safety before approving them for use.
  • Labeling: Food additives are listed on food labels, either by their name or a numerical code. The label should also indicate their function, such as "coloring agent" or "preservative."
  • Natural vs. Synthetic: Food additives can be derived from natural sources, such as herbs and spices, or synthetically produced in a laboratory.
  • Potential Risks: Some food additives may have potential risks, such as causing allergies or sensitivities in some people. 
  • Minimizing Intake: To minimize your intake of food additives, it is recommended to eat a balanced diet of whole foods and limit consumption of highly processed foods.

Food additives are substances added to food to improve its taste, appearance, and shelf life. While they must be safe for consumption, some additives may have potential risks, and it is important to be aware of their presence in your food and limit intake of highly processed foods, especially in kids

Also, check why is important to read the back labels before purchasing any product