When you are buying food in your local stores the first thing that you look at is the ingredients.
Function of the food ingredients
The food manufacturers have many reasons why they add the ingredients. Some of these reasons include:
To keep the food safe and fresh: The ingredients used in serving this role are preservatives. They prevent spoilage of the food thus reducing the risk of you suffering from foodborne diseases.
To improve the texture of the food: I’m sure that you have noticed that most of the food you get from your local store has a better texture than the one that you prepare yourself. This is due to the addition of the ingredients. The ingredients added include: thickeners, emulsifiers, leavening agents and stabilizers. The additives give food a light airy texture that feels great on the tongue.
The additives improve taste: Spices, sweeteners, and other flavors enhance the taste of food thus you enjoy eating it.
The additives aid in improving appearance: Natural and artificial food colors improve the appearance of plain foods such as juices, cheese, and yogurts.
Common food ingredients
There are many additives that can be used in food but there are some that are more common than others. The most common additives include:
Flavors: They include both natural and artificial flavors. The most common are: salt, citric acid, butter flavoring, methyl salicylate, vanilla extract and vanillin. The flavors are heavily used in cereals, soft drinks, dressings, yogurt, and bread. The additives provide a bitter flavor that neutralizes the sweet flavors that are common in beverages.
Food colors: Food colors offset the color loss that takes place when the food is exposed to light. They also enhance the colors that occur naturally in food. The most common food colors that you will find in most foods are: caramel coloring, beta carotene, and annatto extract. The additives are common in yogurts, fruit spreads, candles, cheese, snack foods, and pudding.
Sweeteners: They add sweetness to food and beverages without interfering with the original food texture. Common sweeteners are high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucrose, honey, agave, and nectar. You will find the additives in dressings, maple syrup, cereals, juice concentrates, desserts, and molasses.
This is what you need to know about the common food ingredients and their roles. While the additives are harmless to many people there are some people that react to them. If you one of the people who are affected by the ingredients you should avoid foods containing them.