Why Are Additives Used in Foods?

(Reprinted from the International Food Information Council Foundation, 1992)

Additives are used in foods for five main reasons:

Many substances added to food may seem foreign when listed on the ingredient label, but are actually quite familiar. For example, ascorbic acid is another name for vitamin C; alpha-tocopherol is another name for vitamin E; and beta-carotene is a source of vitamin A.

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Prepared Summer 1997 by Bernadene Magnuson, Ph.D.
University of Idaho, Dept. of Food Science and Toxicology - EXTOXNET FAQ Team.