Behind the modern food industry is the concern of people around the world with food additives, colorful cakes and desserts, rich flavors of various beverages, processed meat and vegetable cans, etc., this delicious and attractive cuisine without food additives. It can be said that without food additives, there is no modern food industry, “food additives are artificial synthetic or natural substances added to food to improve food quality and color, flavor, taste and for the preservation, freshness and processing process needs.” Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, President of the Chinese Society of Food Science and Technology, Sun Baoguo, President of Beijing University of Technology and Industry, said in an interview with Science and Technology Daily. Carbon dioxide in beverages, and potassium sorbate in jam, are common preservatives; vitamin E in edible oil is an antioxidant; xylitol in chewing gum, aspartame in beverages is a sweetener; common pigments are red currant red in curd, caramel color in beverages, etc.
Why should food additives be added to food? Cao Yanping, a professor at the School of Food and Health, Beijing University of Technology, explained that the role of food additives is mainly in the following areas: first, to maintain or improve the nutritional value of the food itself, adding antioxidants in edible oils can delay or hinder the oxidation of fats and oils; second, as a necessary ingredient or component of certain special dietary foods, such as food for diabetics, in order to reduce the carbohydrate content of food, you can Add some energy-free or low-energy high sweetness sweetener to improve the taste; third is to improve the quality and stability of the food, improve the sensory characteristics of food, such as emulsifiers, thickeners used in dairy beverages; fourth is to facilitate the production, processing, packaging, transportation or storage of food, like some preservatives, have a good anti-mold effect on pastry. “In short, in the modern food industry, the use of food additives to improve product quality, enrich the variety of food, to meet the needs of different consumers of food diversification.” Cao Yanping said.
Some food additives are better added than not added
“Many people feel that food additives are not good, and hope that ‘zero added’, but they do not know that some food additives are better added than not added, and even eager to add a little more.” Kexin food and health information exchange center director Kai Zhong said.
Specifically, Zhong Kai introduced this type of food additive first of all nutritional fortification, which includes a variety of vitamins required by the human body, such as vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, etc., the minerals calcium, iron, zinc and other nutrients such as lactoferrin. For some special people, nutritional fortification is necessary, if some babies need to eat formula, it is necessary to add a variety of nutritional fortification, with other ingredients such as whey protein, in order to maximize the nutritional needs of infants, so that the baby grows up healthy.
Secondly, it is a thickening agent to supplement dietary fiber. Zhong Kai said that in modern society, people’s diets are becoming more and more refined, and coarse grains are instead sought after by the city, one of the very important reasons is to supplement dietary fiber. There is a large category of food additives called thickeners, generally gums, polysaccharides, sugar alcohols and modified starch substances, many of which are extracted from natural food dietary fiber. Such as extracted from legumes in the prickly bean gum, locust bean gum, cassia gum; carrageenan, sodium alginate, sea roo gum in seaweed; extracted from animal skin, bone and connective tissue gelatin, etc.
Are these food additives wish to add more? “Unfortunately, because their thickening effect is far stronger than starch thickening, and the price is also much more expensive than starch, so the amount is generally very little.” Zhong Kai laughs, therefore, gets dietary fiber or more whole grains, vegetables and fruits and legumes.
“And then, for example, now we rarely eat harsh-tasting oil, mainly because the cooking oil is added with the antioxidant tert-butylhydroquinone, which is often said to scavenge free radicals.” Some antioxidants are extracted directly from plants, such as tea polyphenols, licorice antioxidants and rosemary extract, which contain a variety of antioxidant ingredients. However, the amount added to food is relatively small, said Kai Zhong.
Zhong Kai said that people can not be overly worried about food additives. In fact, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon, and these common seasonings in the kitchen also belong to food additives. “No matter with or without, with which, with how many kinds of food additives, as long as they meet the requirements of the relevant standards will not be harmful to health, there is no difference in safety.” Zhong Kai stressed.
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