Food additives are a class of important substances that improve food quality, extend food shelf life, improve processing conditions, enhance food nutrition, and improve food quality. They are an important part of the modern food industry. With the development of the food industry, the role of food additives is becoming more and more important. However, while bringing a variety of food types and great convenience to people's lives, there are also various problems in the use of food additives. In recent years, food safety incidents have occurred frequently, and the use of food additives has become the focus of social attention. Due to lack of basic knowledge of food additives, consumers have misunderstood food additives. This chapter mainly introduces the definition, function, relevant laws and regulations of food additives, etc., so that consumers can have a correct understanding of food additives.
1. Definition and function of food additives
The definition of food additives is stipulated in the "Food Safety Law of the People's Republic of China" (hereinafter referred to as "Food Safety Law"). The artificially synthesized or natural substances added to food for the needs of processing technology, including nutritional fortifiers." "National Food Safety Standard Food Additives Use Standard" (GB 2760-2014) stipulates that food additives refer to: "to improve food quality Color, aroma, taste, and synthetic or natural substances added to food for the needs of antisepsis, fresh-keeping and processing technology.Food flavors, gum-based candies and base substances, and food industry processing aids are also included. "In our country, the scope of food additives is relatively wide. Nutritional enhancers, food flavors, base substances in gum-based candies, and processing aids for the food industry are also used as food additives.
The role of food additives
In the process of food processing, the rational use of food additives in accordance with food safety standards is of great significance to the food industry and has the following functions:
1. Improve and enhance the sensory properties of food color, aroma, taste and taste
The color, aroma, taste, shape and texture of food are
An important indicator to measure food quality, food processing generally involves physical processes such as grinding, crushing, heating, and pressurizing. During these processing processes, food is easy to fade and change color, and some inherent aromas of foods are also lost. In addition, the same processing process is difficult to solve the requirements of soft, hard, crisp, tough and other tastes of the product. Therefore, the proper use of colorants, color protectants, food flavors and fragrances, thickeners, emulsifiers, etc. can significantly improve the sensory quality of food and meet people's needs for food flavor and taste.
2. Conducive to food preservation and transportation, prolonging the shelf life of food
Most of the food raw materials come from animals and plants, which belong to fresh food. The amount of waste caused by improper storage in the process of storage and transportation every year is astonishing. This is a great disaster for the world where resources are increasingly scarce and population is rapidly expanding. Therefore, speeding up the development of food antioxidants and preservatives and prolonging the shelf life of food as much as possible have become the driving force for accelerating the development of food additives. food is spoiling
At the same time of deterioration, due to the occurrence of oxidation-reduction reactions, changes such as fat rancidity, browning of color and luster, loss of nutrients, etc., impel the quality of food to decline. Therefore, antioxidants are needed in food.
3. Maintain and improve the nutritional value of food to meet the special needs of different groups
Appropriately adding some nutrients to food can greatly increase and improve the nutritional value of food. This is of great significance for preventing malnutrition and nutritional deficiency, maintaining nutritional balance, and improving people's health. Such as adding iodine to salt, fortifying iron, etc. in flour, and fortifying calcium and vitamins in children's food. At the same time, food anti-lowering agents and antioxidants can prevent food from oxidative deterioration in the food industry, and play an important role in maintaining the nutrition of food. Food plays an important role in regulating human body functions and maintaining human health. Therefore, vigorously developing low-sugar and low-fat foods has become a trend in the development of the food industry, which makes the development of sugar and lipid substitutes an important direction. At present, the number of obese and diabetic patients has increased sharply, and the development of special foods also requires the use of a large number of food additives. Diabetics can't eat sucrose, but also need to meet the need for sweetness, so various sweeteners are needed. Babies need various nutrients for their growth and development, so formula milk powder with added minerals and vitamins has been developed.
4. Increase the variety of food and improve the convenience of food Diversification of food varieties is the premise to meet the needs of different consumer groups. At present, there are more than 20,000 kinds of food in supermarkets. Whether it is the change of color, shape, taste, or the adjustment of raw materials, nutrition, and variety, a wide variety of food has greatly promoted people's desire to consume. Most of these foods are the result of the combined use of food additives with different functions such as antiseptic, anti-oxidation, emulsification, thickening, coloring, and flavor enhancement in the food processing process. The fast pace of modern life and work has greatly increased people's demand for convenience food. Fast food, instant food, and quick-frozen food are deeply loved by urbanites.
5. Conducive to food processing and production, suitable for food mechanization and automatic production
The degree of food processing is getting higher and higher, and industrially produced food has penetrated into our daily life every day. The use of food additives such as emulsifiers, defoamers, coating agents, stabilizers and coagulants in food processing can make raw materials more processable and adapt to large-scale production of modern food machinery and equipment, such as defoamers in soybean milk production. Use, the use of enzyme preparations in the production of oligosaccharides, the use of glucono-δ-lactone in the production of tofu, facilitates the processing and production of food, and makes the food industry mechanized and automated.
6. Conducive to improving economic and social benefits
The use of various additives such as stabilizers, coagulants, and thickeners in the production process can reduce raw material consumption and increase product yield, thereby reducing production costs and producing obvious economic and social benefits.