Why use additives?

Many people enjoy making bread, cakes, wine, beer, and ice cream at home. However, most of today’s food is bought from shops and supermarkets.

Food made at home is always at its best when eaten straight away. Food produced on a large scale to supply supermarkets and other food shops has to be transported and stored before it is consumed. It has to stay in top condition over a much longer period of time than home-cooked food.

Additives are used so that these foods still have a consistently high quality. In some products, they are so essential that additives are also used in certain organic foods.

Best-known additives

In some countries, lots of food is lost because it ‘goes off’ due to microbial growth before it can be eaten. Food poisoning also shows the dangers of contaminated food and without the use of preservatives, it would quite likely be more common.

Preservatives, colours and flavours are the best known additives but there are many categories of additives, each tailored to a specific purpose.