FAQ

Here you can find some information about food additives.

Why using food additieves ?

Consumer demand and developments in food science and technology have led to a more widespread and varied use of food additives. As a result, we enjoy an affordable, high quality, and wholesome food supply. The Egyptians used them. The Greeks too. And today we are still using them. Food additives, in the widest sense, are any substance added to food to enhance the safety, nutritional value, and/or appeal of the product. Additives preserve, flavour, blend, thicken, and colour foods. They keep bread mould-free, stop salad dressings from separating, cure meats, and give margarine that warm yellow colour. Additives include baking powder in cake mixes and gelling agents in jams. They maintain product consistency and quality and reduce nutritional deficiencies. The consumer has come to rely on the many technological, aesthetic, and convenience benefits that additives provide in food. 

They keep bread mould-free, stop salad dressings from separating, cure meats, and give margarine that warm yellow colour. Additives include baking powder in cake mixes and gelling agents in jams. They maintain product consistency and quality and reduce nutritional deficiencies. The consumer has come to rely on the many technological, aesthetic, and convenience benefits that additives provide in food.

Are food additives in processed food realy neccesary ?

Food additives play an important role in preserving the freshness, safety, taste, appearance and texture of processed foods. Food additives are added for particular purposes, whether it is to ensure food safety or to maintain food quality during the shelf-life of a product. For example, antioxidants prevent fats and oils from becoming rancid while preservatives prevent or reduce the growth of microbes (e.g. mould on bread) and thickeners allow fruit preparations to “gel” so they can be spread onto toasted bread. Food colourings are used to increase the appeal of foods. While food colourings do not impart improved safety or texture, they offer consumers a choice of products that may appeal to them or add to their enjoyment of the diet due to its colour. Food additives can supply specific sensory properties (e.g. taste and texture) to foods to meet cultural habits and consumer’s expectations. All food additives must be approved by appropriate authorities and strict limits are placed on the amount and types of additives in foods. Any additive must be included in the ingredients listing on a package ensuring that consumers have a choice.

Colourings are added to food to replace colours lost during preparation, or to make food look more attractive. In contrast to colourings, colour retention agents are used to preserve a food's existing colour.

What are E numbers ?

An E-number signifies approval of an additive by the EU. To obtain an E-number, the additive must have been fully evaluated for safety by the SCF or the European Food Safety Authority. The E-number system also serves as a simple and convenient way to label permitted additives across the range of languages in the European Union. To see the list of permitted additives with an E-number. 

Are E numbers safe ?

Additives are evaluated on different criteria - how they are absorbed by the body, their stability in different foods and beverages, and the quantities in which they can be safely consumed. Food additive regulations require that the product be appropriately labelled to provide information on an additive's purpose and its name. In the European Union, approved additives are identified by their E-number, which appears on the label.