What are food preservatives? Give example


The substance which is used for long-term food preservation or long-term storage is called food preservatives.

Food preservation

Food preservation has been practised for millennia. It all started with the application of salt on meats and fish in ancient times. Sugar was added to canned foods later, and humans began to pickle vegetables. While all of the previous ways are acceptable in moderation, today’s new chemical preservation technologies are becoming increasingly common and are detrimental to our health.

Food preservation has numerous advantages, including the capacity to avoid deterioration and decomposition due to mould, yeast, botulism, and other forms of food poisoning. Food preservation also lowers the cost of food and extends its shelf life.Ex: Salt, Sugar, Alcohol and vinegar, etc.

Objectives of Food Preservation

Following are the important objectives of food preservation:

  1. To prevent microbial contamination.
  2. To kill pathogens.
  3. To minimise food spoilage and food poisoning.

Preservatives come in a variety of forms. Some instances are as follows:

  • Benzoic acid
  • Calcium Sorbate
  • Erythorbic Acid
  • Potassium Nitrate
  • Sodium Benzoate

Antioxidants can also act as preservatives by reducing the rate at which a product spoils. Some instances are as follows:

  • Ascorbyl Palmitate
  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

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