Preservatives in food

Preservatives work by killing the micro organism or preventing it from growing

Humans have always found ways to preserve their food to stop it spoiling before it can be eaten. Many of the bacteria and moulds that grow on food can be dangerous. Salmonella, listeria and botulism are familiar forms of food poisoning caused by bacteria, and one of the most infamous

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Gelling agents, thickeners & stabilisers

The texture of food is important for the look and feel of food, and also for digestion. Thickening and stabilising agents are gums that work with emulsifiers to maintain the texture of food, and create texture in water-based products that would otherwise be runny. Ingredients such as flour, cornflour and

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Anti-caking agents

Anti-caking agents are used to prevent powdery and granular food products from absorbing water and clumping together

Many powdery and granular food products have a tendency to absorb water and clump together. Whether it’s table salt, icing sugar, non-dairy creamer, instant soup or even grated parmesan cheese, if the ingredients don’t flow freely then they are difficult to use. Salt cellars wouldn’t dispense salt, drink vending machines

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Acidulants in food

Acidulants are an essential ingredient in sharp, zesty food products. These acids are what give fruit its characteristic tang, and most of those that are added to food products are common in nature. For example, citric acid occurs naturally in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, malic acid is

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Antioxidants

Oxidation is a real problem for food products. Oxidation, for example, causes raw apples and potatoes go brown, but this can prevented in the kitchen by adding lemon juice. It’s very effective because lemon juice contains a very strong antioxidant – ascorbic acid or vitamin C (E300). By preventing or

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Soft drinks giants change manufacturing process to avoid ‘unfounded health warning’

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are changing how they make an ingredient in their drinks to avoid being legally obliged to put a cancer warning label on the bottle which they say is ‘scientifically unfounded’. The new recipe for caramel colouring in the drinks has less 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) – a chemical that

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Use of food additives ‘safer and more transparent’ thanks to new legislation.

Safer and more transparent use. The use of additives in food will soon become even safer and more transparent thanks to legislation adopted by the European Commission. “This represents a landmark in our efforts to strengthen food safety in the EU,” says Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli (pictured).

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Global additives market on the up

Global sales of food and drink additives reached £17.3 billion last year, according to a new report. The best performing sectors include enzymes, acidulants and hydrocolloids, says Leatherhead Food Research’s report The Global Food Additives Market, with a growing demand for low fat, salt and sugar products – as well

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Salt in bread

THE STORY: A third of breads contain more salt than recommended under guidelines being introduced next year, according to campaign group CASH (Campaign for Action on Salt and Health). The figures came after the Department of Health announced that bread accounts for more salt in our diet than any other

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Chemist in the kitchen

A page from our first website! If you want to know more about how food additives tie in with the chemistry that goes on in the kitchen, a downloadable booklet entitled ‘In the mix’ is accessible from the home page, or from the image on this page. Chemicals have always

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