11 List of Food Preservatives – Types and Examples

Food additives are ingredients used to improve and increase the usefulness of food. These food additives are deliberately given for certain purposes such as to improve consistency, nutritional value, taste, control of acidity or alkalinity, establish the shape, and others. Nevertheless there are some food additives that are toxic or may endanger public health if it exceeds a certain limit.
In general, the use of permissible food additives is for the following purposes:

  1. To maintain the nutritional value of food
  2. To consume a certain group of people who need a diet
  3. To maintain the quality or stability of the food or to improve its organoleptic properties so it will not deviate from its natural properties
  4. For the purposes of manufacture, processing, supply, treatment, containment, packaging, transport, or transportation.

While the use of food additives is not allowed for the following purposes:

  1. To hide the way of making or processing that is not good
  2. To fool consumers, for example, give a good impression to a food made from unfavorable ingredients
  3. If it leads to decreased nutrition in food

The common food additives that may be found in food nowadays are food coloring, synthetic sweetener, preservatives, flavoring agent, emulsifier, stabilizer, thickening agent, antioxidant, acidulant, anti-caking agent, bleaching, firming agent, and sequestrant. For more information about these food additives, we will discuss about List of Food Preservatives below.

You may also read:

1. Food Dyes

The addition of dye to the food is done for several purposes, namely:

  1. Give the impression of interest to the consumer
  2. Unifies the color of the food
  3. Stabilizes colors
  4. Cover color changes during process
  5. Resolve color changes during storage

Food dyes usage has been regulated by every country, and there are some dyes that are prohibited to use in food and many food products, especially in small scale manufacturing who use these banned dye materials. The prohibited dyes are harmful to health, such as dye for textiles or paints. This is due to textile dye or paint generally have a brighter color, more stable during storage and the price is cheaper and food producers do not know and realize the dangers of these dyes.

Some of the forbidden and dangerous dyes that are commonly found in food, especially in snacks, are yellow methanil (yellow methanil), and red Rhodamin B. The yellow and red dye is often used in various kinds of food such as syrup, pastries, jelly, tofu, and others. Both of these dyes have been shown to cause cancer whose symptoms cannot be seen immediately after consuming. It is therefore prohibited to be used in food even in small quantities.

In addition there are synthetic dyes that are allowed to be used in food products; there are FD & C Dyes and FD & C Lakes. FD & C Dyes are used for soft drinks, carbonated beverages, cakes, dairy products, sausage wraps. While FD & C Lakes such as blue diamonds, HT chocolate, CFC green are used for foods that contain fat or low water content products such as tablets, baking dough, donuts, confectionery and chewing gum.

You may also read:

2. Artificial Sweeteners

Synthetic sweeteners are substances that can cause sweetness or can help sharpen the acceptance of the sweetness, while the calorie produced is much lower than sugar. Artificial sweeteners usually have a lower calorie value than regular sugar and almost have no nutritional value.

In general, these sweeteners are mixed on various processed products such as cakes, soft drinks, fruit juice, and syrup. The ideal sweetener should have the following characteristics: the sweetness level is at least the same as the sucrose, colorless, soluble in water, the composition is stable, non-toxic and does not endanger the health of the wearer, has other properties and functions for food and beverages such as cake texture, as well as economically feasible.

In the food industry, there are two types of sweeteners. The first one is nutritive Sweetener; it is a sugar or organic carbohydrates compounds that contain nutrients to produce a number of calories. This nutritive sweetener consists of natural nutritive sweeteners that are derived from plants and animals such as sugar cane, beet sugar, fructose (fruit sugar), glucose, sorbitol, maltose and lactose (milk sugar); as well as nutritive sweetener that is derived from synthetic compounds such as aspartame, where aspartame has a sweetness level 200 times the sweetness of sucrose (sugar). This type of sweetener consists of amino acids and is very sensitive to high heating (causing loss of sweetness contained in aspartame compounds) widely used for sweetener soft drinks products, especially for diets and safe for diabetics.

The second one is non-nutritive sweeteners that are sweeteners that contain little or no calories at all. These sweeteners come from plants, proteins and from the synthesis of some chemical reactions such as cyclamate and saccharin. Saccharin has a sweetness level of 200-700 times the level of sugar sweetness and has an ‘After taste’ which left behind a bitter taste after the sweet taste passed, while the level of cyclamate sweetness is only about 30-80 times the sugar and has no after taste.

The other artificial sweetener is Na salt – and Ca – cyclamate with a sweetness of 30x sucrose and is used as a sweetener. In the United States its use has been banned due to its carcinogens properties. The cyclamate metabolism, cyclohexamine, is a carcinogenic compound. This compound discharges through urine and can stimulate bladder tumors in mice. However, repeated tests on several rats and hamsters showed negative results.

Artificial sweeteners are often added to food and beverages as a sugar substitute because they have advantages compared with natural sweetener (sugar), such as:

  1. It tastes sweeter
  2. Helps sharpen the acceptance of sweetness
  3. Does not contain calories or contain calories much lower therefore it is suitable for people with diabetes (diabetes)
  4. The price is cheaper

The maximum limit of cyclamate use is 300 mg – 3g / kg of material, while the maximum limit of saccharin use is 50 – 300 mg / kg of material. Both should only be used for low-calorie foods, and limited consumption levels of 0.5 mg / kg body weight / day. So if we weigh 50 kg, then the maximum amount of cyclamate or saccharin that may be consumed per day is 50 x 0.5 mg or 25 mg. If we consume cakes with cyclamate content of 500 mg / kg of ingredients, then in one day we may only consume 25/500 x 1 kg or 50 g of cake.

You may also read:

3. Food Preservative

Preservatives are commonly used to preserve food that is susceptible to damage. This substance is an ingredient that is added to the diet to prevent or inhibit the growth of fungi, bacteria, or microorganisms. Thus, the process of fermentation (decomposition), acidification or decomposition due to microorganism activity can be prevented so that the shelf life is relatively longer. But it is not uncommon for manufacturers to use it on relatively long-lasting foods with the aim of extending the storage period or improving texture.
Some preservatives include:

  1. Organic compounds such as sorbic acid, propionic acid, acetic acid, and epoxides and inorganic compounds such as nitrate and nitrite salts
  2. Oxidative substances that can cause oxidation reactions such as peroxides and ozone
  3. Antibiotics are substances produced from a microbial, especially mushrooms that serve as a microbial eradication but since 1966 banned from use because it can cause immunity with other effects of allergic reactions and poisoning to the user
  4. Fungicidal is used to eradicate mold growth in food products such as pimaricin
  5. The halogen bonds contained in chlorine that serve to kill and prevent the growth of bacteria, algae and protozoa, these substances are used as cleaning, shielding and sanitizing equipment in the food industry are not directly used in food because they are generally toxic
  6. The ammonium bond is basic and works the same way as the halogen bond. Various types of preservatives has been widely known by the public, where the activity of preservatives are not the same, there is an effective to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeast, or mold, then the use should be selective so as not to cause side effects for food users

The most common preservatives sold in the market and used to preserve various foods are benzoates, which are generally present in sodium benzoate or more soluble potassium benzoate. Benzoate is often used to preserve various foods and beverages such as fruit juice, soft drinks, ketchup, chili sauce, jam and jelly, sweets, soy sauce and etc. The use of preservatives in food should be appropriate both types and dosage. A preservative may be effective in preserving certain foods, but it is ineffective in preserving other foods because they have different properties-so that the destructive microbes that are inhibited by their growth are also different.

The other preservatives that are allowed to use in food include:

  1. Benzoic acid
  2. Propionic acid
  3. Sorbic acid
  4. Sodium nitrite
  5. Potassium sulfite

At present, some food producers still use the preservatives that are prohibited for use in food and harmful to health. For examples are Borax and Formalin. Borax is an antiseptic and germ killer, therefore widely used as an anti-fungal, wood preservative and for antiseptic ingredients in cosmetics.

The use of Borax is often unintentional because it is unknowingly contained in the making of meatball, wet noodles, and many traditional foods. In addition there is also a lot of Formalin in use to preserve food such as in tofu and wet noodles. Formalin is actually an ingredient for preserving corpses and organs and is very dangerous to health therefore formalin use is strictly prohibited.

You may also read: Postulates of John Dalton – Louis de Broglie Quantum Theories

4. Flavor Enhancers

Flavor enhancers are added in the diet to give, add, or reinforce flavors and smell. The use of flavor enhancers serves to add a sense of pleasure to the processed cuisine as well as the suppressor of undesirable flavors in a foodstuff. This flavoring substance can be derived from natural compounds such as onions, garlic, plant extracts or fruit juices, essential oils and oleoresins.

For synthetic flavor it is usually a synthetic product of chemicals such as MSG or Mono Sodium Glutamate. For aroma enhancers, the usually added synthetic fragrances are such as:

  1. amyl acetate (banana aroma)
  2. amyl caproate (apple aroma)
  3. ethyl butyrate (pineapple aroma)
  4. vanillin (Vanilla scent)
  5. and anthranilic metal (grapes aroma)

You may also read:

5. Emulsifiers, Stabilizer and Thickeners

The function of emulsifiers, stabilizer and thickeners in food is to stabilize the emulsions of fat and water so that the product remains stable, not melted, not separated between the fat and water parts and has a compact texture.
For example: for ice cream, we can use gelatin, gum or carboxy methyl cellulose with a certain concentration. And For yogurt, we can use gelatin or carrageenan with concentration of 5 grams/kg.

The ingredients that serve as emulsifier include egg yolk, egg white (albumin), gelatin, lecithin, pectin, casein, mustard and starch paste. Among the processed food products the emulsifying agent is used in some products, there are mayonnaise, salad dressing, cream cheese, milk, butter, margarine, and shortening. Some stabilizers also serve as emulsifiers such as gum arabic which are usually used as emulsifier in soft drinks and gum tragakan that is used to produce Emulsion of bakery flavor.

For the process of thickening liquid food, the substances that can be used are hydrocolloids, gum, and synthetic polymer materials. Thickening agents such as carrageenan, agar, pectin, gum arabic, and CMC.

You may also search:

The Other Food Additives

1. Antioxidants” state=”closed

Antioxidant is a food additive that is used to extend the shelf life and increase the stabilization of foods that contains lots of fat and oil. In addition, antioxidants can also be used for fruit juice in cans packaging to avoid the rancidity that causes discoloration, damage to vitamins, even decrease in nutritional value.
Antioxidants that are allowed to use in food, among others, as follows:

  • Ascorbic acid (Na and Ca)
  • BHA (butyl hydroxy anisole)
  • BHT (butyl hydroxy toluene)
  • Propyl galat
  • Tocopherol

You may also read:

2. Acidulant

The aciudilant is used to acidify, neutralize, and maintain the degree of acidity of processed foodstuffs as well as the confirmation of taste, color, and preservatives. In the processed products of fruits and vegetables the addition of these substances result in a decrease in pH also reduces the risk of microbial growth. Processed food products that often utilize the acidulant include juice, pickled cucumber, jam, jelly, and canned fish.
Usually acidulant substances are from organic acids such as acetic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, fumaric acid, malic acid, succinic acid, and tatric acid, while the inorganic acids used are phosphoric acid.

You can also read:

3. Anti Caking Agent

Anti caking agent is used with the aim of preventing the splinting or agglomeration of food especially food that is in powder, flour or granules form. Generally these foods have the properties that very easily absorb water (hydroscopic). The anti caking agnet is not toxic and is not absorbed by the body’s metabolism, but the dosage used must comply with the existing regulations. Examples of anti caking agent are:

  • Aluminum silicate
  • Calcium silicate
  • Magnesium carbonate
  • Magnesium silicate

You can also read:

4. Flour Bleaching Agent

This substance serves to accelerate the process of bleaching and flour maturation thus expected that the food quality can be improved. This substance is widely used in flour, such as wheat flour because the new flour products are usually yellowish and sometimes less elastic so that when used as dough, bread cannot expand properly. The commonly used bleaching agents are benzoyl peroxide or potassium bromate. But we also can use bleaching substances that have a dual function (as bleach as well as improver) such as nitrosyl chloride and nitrogen oxide.

You may also read:

5. Firming Agent

Firming agent is an additive to foods that work to harden or prevent the softening of processed foods. This agent is also called as crisping agent. Typically, this material is used in the processing of food derived from plants because these products often produce textures that turn softened due to processing or heating. For example to firm fruits and vegetables in cans can be used calcium gluconate 800 mg / kg of material, or for pickled cucumbers in a bottle can use calcium gluconate 250 mg / kg of material.

Food additives that serve as firming agents include aluminum sulfate, calcium gluconate, calcium carbonate, calcium lactate, calcium citrate and potassium sulphate.

You may also read: Hydrogen Uses

6. Sequestrant

Sequestrant is a food additive that serves to bind metals contained in processed food ingredients so that its presence greatly helps to preserve the stability of color, taste, and texture of food. This food additive is used in processed food such as canned crab, peanut oil, coconut oil, frozen fried potatoes, broth, ice cream, preserved meat, and others.
The examples of sequestrants are phosphoric acid, citric acid, dicalium phosphate, and potassium citrate.

You may also read:

Indeed, there are many List of Food Preservatives that people use nowadays. That is the chemicals compound added to food to make it as food dyes, sweetener, and additives. Meanwhile, the use of too much Food Preservatives can be damage for body if we consume it too often.

Read More About Chemistry Here” state=”closed

You may also read :

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.