What are additives in food?

Was sind Zusatzstoffe in Lebensmitteln?

What are additives?

Food additives are mostly chemical substances that are added to foods to change their properties or to adapt to certain circumstances. Adding them is often intended to influence the colour, taste, consistency or shelf life of the food or to simplify production or even make it feasible in the first place.

"Food additives are substances that are not usually consumed as food themselves." Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008 of the EU Parliament on food additives

Other substances are equated with the additives. These substances are treated like additives in the approval process. This includes:

Minerals and trace elements and their compounds other than table salt, amino acids and their derivatives, vitamins A and D and their derivatives, substances that are added to food for reasons other than technological ones (except natural substances with nutritional, olfactory or taste value). The legislator does not consider additives to include processing aids, aromas, enzymes and pesticides.

Examples of additives

As already mentioned, food additives can be identified by their E number. They are subject to mandatory labeling, i.e. a manufacturer must indicate all additives used on the label of the food.

Number Class additive 
E100 Curcumin Curcumin (also known as Turmeric)
E173 Aluminium Silver coloring
E300 ascorbic acid Vitamin C as an antioxidant
E415 Xanthan gum Stabilize
E967 Xylitol sweetener
E951 Aspartame sweetener

Where are additives used?

Above all, the many finished products would not be possible without the use of additives. The European Union (EU) assigns a so-called E number for each approved additive. There are currently around 341 additives permitted in the food industry in the EU. These are in turn divided into different classes.

Many additives are very controversial, while others are harmless.

An additive only receives approval if the following criteria are met:

  • there are no health risks
  • the additive is technically necessary to produce a food
  • the use does not lead to deception of the consumer

Which additives are permitted?

Overview of the individual functional classes of food additives (as of 06.10.2016, the Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008. As already mentioned, there are almost 350 approved additives.

The 26 functional classes according to (EG) No. 1333/2008:

Sweeteners, dyes, colorants, preservatives, carriers, acidifiers, acidity regulators, release agents, anti-foaming agents, fillers, emulsifiers, melting salts, firming agents, flavor enhancers, foaming agents, gelling agents, coating agents, humectants, modified starches, packaging gases, propellants, raising agents, complexing agents, stabilizers, thickeners , flour treatment agent.

Products without additives

In general, it can be said that fresh products require little or no additives. The more additives there are in a product, the more unnatural it is. You should therefore use products with little or even better no additives.

So are all Products from Beyond Nutrition completely free of added additives (the exception is the vegan capsule shell) and thus meet even the highest quality standards.

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