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Food additives

Background Information

Food additives

Despite modern-day associations food additives have been used for centuries. Food preservation began when man first learned to safeguard food from one harvest to the next and by the salting and smoking of meat and fish. The Egyptians used colours and flavourings, and the Romans used saltpetre (potassium nitrate), spices and colours for preservation and to improve the appearance of foods. Cooks regularly used baking powder as a raising agent, thickeners ...

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Science Briefs

EFSA opinion on the safety of caffeine

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Herbs and spices: A useful approach for reducing salt content in soup

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Food additives and preschool children

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Food Today

Hyperactivity and artificial food colours

Over 30 years ago, it was proposed that much of the hyperactivity involved with learning disabilities could be attributed to artificial food colours (AFCs) as well as certain fruits and vegetables containing salicylates and sugar. Ever since, dozens of scientists have put these theories to the test but the evidence remains controversial.

The perfect mixture: emulsifiers make our food enjoyable

Add oil to water and the two liquids will never mix. At least not until an emulsifier is added. Emulsifiers are molecules with one water-loving (hydrophilic) and one oil-loving (hydrophobic) end. They make it possible for water and oil to become finely dispersed in each other, creating a stable, homogenous, smooth emulsion.

The Facts on Monosodium Glutamate

One food ingredient that is commonly on the receiving end of bad press is monosodium glutamate, or MSG. However this is unfounded. Monosodium glutamate can be safely used to add flavour and appeal to foods, and even to reduce sodium levels in foods.

The Safety Evaluation of Food Additives in the European Union

All food additives must have not only a demonstrated useful purpose but also a thorough and rigorous safety evaluation before they can be approved for use. In the European Union, all additives have to be evaluated by the EU Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) before they can be used in food products.

What are Food Additives?

Why is it that in many people's minds all additives are harmful chemicals with nasty E-numbers? And why is it that the roles of food additives have been so badly misunderstood?

Additives, do we need them?

Consumer demand and developments in food science and technology have led to a more widespread and varied use of food additives. As a result, we enjoy an affordable, high quality, and wholesome food supply.
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Other articles

Caffeine and Energy Drinks: Q&As

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ABOUT EUFIC
The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) is a non-profit organisation which communicates science-based information on nutrition and health, food safety and quality, to help consumers to be better informed when choosing a well-balanced, safe and healthful diet.

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This site was last updated 21/07/2016
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