Advantages Of Food Additives
Additives are substances added to food during the production and packaging process to enhance their shelf life, texture, color, and taste. We are told that additives are dangerous and harmful to our health. But, there are some advantages of food additives. So, are food additives bad for us? Or, are food additives healthy?
Although there may be certain ill effects of additives and preservatives in food, they increase its shelf life and help retain the flavor, color, and texture. They also help maintain or increase the nutritive value of food.
Let’s take a look at the importance of food additives.
Various Advantages of Food Additives
Just looking at the lengthy ingredient label can be an unnerving experience. The ingredient list includes frightening names such as ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol, and beta-carotene.
Although the ingredients don’t look familiar, they are. These are other names for some essential vitamins and minerals that you should be consuming daily. Ascorbic acid refers to vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol to vitamin E, and beta-carotene to vitamin A.
Here are four benefits of food additives.
1. Increase shelf life
Consuming food infected with microorganisms can lead to food poisoning. Additives help keep the food fresh and prevent spoilage. They combat the growth of bacteria and viruses on the food.
Salt and other natural additives are added to foods to help increase their shelf life. So, additives help maintain the quality of food for a longer period.
2. Enhance flavor
Processes that extend the shelf life such as canning, dehydrating, or freezing may alter the flavor. So, food additives like acids, flavor enhancers, or sweeteners will make food taste better. For instance, the added salt in chips and other fried foods leave you craving for more.
3. Increase nutrients with fortification
Vitamins and minerals may get lost during processing. Certain foods like corn flakes are fortified with vitamins, minerals, or fiber for added nutrition.
Preserving food through additives increases the convenience of storing and consuming it. Also, it helps maintain and improve the nutritional value of food. Food enhanced with additives may provide nutrition to a person who does not consume a balanced diet.
4. Preserve texture and appearance
The manufacturing process can alter the flavor and texture of foods, making then unpleasant. Natural and artificial flavoring substances, spices, and sweeteners when added to food preserve the texture and appearance.
Stabilizers and emulsifiers help maintain the consistency of foods. For instance, a leavening agent added to bakery products helps make them rise.