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Specification objectives
Understand the reasons for the use of
food additives, illustrated by reference
to named examples where indicated…read more

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Food additives
Key points
Food additives are substances added
to foods to perform specific
The main groups of food additives
are antioxidants, colours, flavour
enhancers, sweeteners, emulsifiers
and stabilizers, and preservatives.
All additives are thoroughly assessed
for safety before they are allowed to
be used. Approved additives are
given a number. Some are also given
an `E' if they have been accepted as
safe for use within the European
Food additives are substances added
to foods to perform a range of
specific functions. Additives may be
natural, nature identical or artificial.…read more

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Food Additives
Natural additives are substances found naturally in
a foodstuff and are extracted from this food to be
used in another, for example beetroot juice with its
bright purple colour can be used to colour other
foods such as sweets.
Nature identical additives are manmade copies of
substances that occur naturally. For example,
benzoic acid is a substance that is found in nature
and is made synthetically and used as a
Artificial additives are not naturally present in foods
and are made synthetically. An example is
azodicarbonamide, a flour improver that is used to
help bread dough hold together.…read more

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Food additives
Why are they used?
Additives are used for a range of
functions including:
keeping food wholesome until it is
making the food look or taste
ensuring that the food is
convenient to store or use
keeping the price of the food
making the food healthier (higher
in vitamins or lower in fat)
aiding in the processing and
manufacture…read more

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Are either intense or bulk.
Intense sweeteners (for example
saccharin and aspartame) are
many times sweeter than sugar
and so are only used in tiny
This makes them suitable for use
in products such as diet drinks,
which are very low in energy.
Bulk sweeteners (such as sorbitol
and sucralose) have a similar
sweetness to sugar so are used in
similar amounts.…read more

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