Food additives

Food additives don’t have nutritional value, but they are added to food in small amounts to serve a specific function. Some, like preservatives, stop bacteria or mould from spoiling your food, so that it lasts longer. Colourings are used to make our food looks more appealing. Emulsifiers allow water and oils to remain mixed together in an emulsion, like in mayonnaise for example. Even though they might have a negative perception, every additive that we find on our plate has been thoroughly tested and approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and classified as safe.

Food additives

14 May 2021

Despite modern-day associations, food additives have been used for centuries. Over the last 50 years, developments in food science and technology have led to the discovery of many new substances that can fulfil numerous functions in foods.

EU Food Additives List (Online Database)

15 December 2017

A list of food additives used in the European Union.

Food additives and their re-evaluation in the EU

16 April 2014

EU legislation on food additives is based on the principle that only additives that have passed a full safety assessment are authorised for use. Despite this, a recent Eurobarometer survey indicated that 66%...

Food additives and preschool children

19 March 2013

Researchers from the University College Dublin looked at the regulatory basis for the use of food additives, focusing on young children’s dietary exposure to food additives.

Hyperactivity and artificial food colours

05 March 2007

Over 30 years ago, it was proposed that hyperactivity tied with learning disabilities may be linked to artificial food colors as well as certain fruits and vegetables

The perfect mixture: emulsifiers make our food enjoyable

01 April 2005

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.

Acidity regulators: The multi-task players

01 December 2004

Some acidifiers also act as stabilizers, others help antioxidants or emulsifiers, or assist in colour retention. It may seem a minor parameter, but to maintain the appropriate pH is the first step to ensure food safety and a longer shelf life.

Preservatives to keep foods longer – and safer

03 July 2004

Preservatives are a recurring topic in public discussions, and whenever it crops up, many consumers associate them with harmful, modern chemicals in foodstuffs. But, as a brief look back into the past will show, preservation of food was practised several hundred years ago when man first used salt (salting) and smoke (curing) to stop meat and fish from going bad.

Why Is Using Antioxidants in Food Important?

01 July 2004

Antioxidants are present in many foodstuffs, and everyone has heard of them at some time or other or seen them listed as additives on food packaging. But what are they supposed to do in foods? And why do they play such an important role in many products?