Safety is the top priority of food ingredient manufacturers. Many food additives help make foods safer and more enjoyable by ensuring that foods do not spoil in transport or storage, maintain desirable characteristics, and remain uniform from batch to batch.
Food ingredient manufacturers employ rigorous practices to ensure the safety and suitability of all the substances they produce. These functional food ingredients are needed in today’s food supply in order to get food safely from the farm to the table. Food additives also help consumers enjoy a vast variety of foods that were unimaginable in the past. This is because of their vital role in assuring the quality and freshness of foods distributed in our increasingly global food supply.
Fresh foods do not stay fresh forever. Food additives significantly delay spoilage caused by microorganisms, bacteria, yeast and oxidation (the process that occurs when oxygen in air comes into contact with foods).
For example, cut apples, bananas or pears, rapidly turn brown as a result of the oxidation process. However, placing these slices in juice from lemons, limes or oranges can stop this process. Food processors do the same thing by using ascorbic acid – the principal active ingredient in citrus juice – when packaging fruit slices.