Additives (lat. Additivus - additional) are chemicals that are added in small quantities to different products, in order to stabilize or improve some of the properties. Additives have a prefix E in front of an internationally established number. The manufacturer must indicate the category and E number or name of the additive. E numbers represent an internationally accepted EC additive (EC) system, introduced for practical reasons (to avoid confusion due to the use of synonyms since some additives have long names, etc.).
Food additives are substances of a well-known chemical composition, which are not consumed as food and are not a typical food ingredient, regardless of nutritional value, and are added to the food to improve technological and sensory properties. Additives are extracts to foods and beverages in the food industry, and some are also used in the pharmaceutical industry. They most often serve to improve color, taste and smell, and to conserve.
Additives are added to food in the technological process of production, during preparation, processing, processing, design, packaging, transport and storage. These are substances become and remain a constituent of food products (in contrast to the auxiliaries and enzymatic preparations that come in contact with the food product, but do not become its ingredient), which is why, from a health point of view, is more important.
The purpose of adding preservatives is to stabilize the product, to prolong its durability and to prevent it from deterioration, or microbiological contamination. Additives (preservatives) are protected from the worst - from broken or contaminated foods.
Basic groups of additives
1. Antioxidants and synergists antioxidants
4. Flavor enhancers
Emulsifiers, thickening agents for gelling agents and gelling agents
7. Sweetening agents (sweeteners)
11. Enzyme preparations
12. Neutralization agents
13. Auxiliaries in production (anti-foaming agents, catalysts, clarifiers, filtration and adsorption, freezing agents, detergents.
14. Other additives
Harm to health
The most famous preservative, and at the same time the least dangerous kitchen salt (NaCl). It is usually not considered a chemical additive, although this, in fact, is, like acacia, sugar, sorbates, and the like. Sugar and are the most commonly used additives for food products. They are important because they form flavor, and they are also preservatives. Any overrun of their quantity has a detrimental effect on the consumer's organism. The same applies to other additives.
The biggest problem in determining the harmful effect on the health of the consumer is the group of preservatives used to preserve the color of products and the freshness of the meat (nitrates, nitrites), due to the possibility of their conversion (through intestinal microflora) into toxic and carcinogenic compounds (nitrosamine, methemoglobin). However, it should be emphasized that the risk of nitrates in meat products is much less than meat poisoning caused by pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria).
All food additives marked with E-numbers were carefully examined. In addition, in average per capita consumption, chemically defined pure chemicals are dominated by sucrose (sugar), kitchen salt (NaCl), starch syrup (glucose, glucose, fructose and mixed) and sodium hydrogen glycogenate, although they are not usually classified in additives. If the harmfulness of an additive is proved, its use is restricted or completely prohibited by regulation. It is also important to know how much a particular additive is added to food and thus consumes it. All allowed additives are safe within the limits of average consumption. All chemical food supplements, which are used in the modern food industry and controlled food traffic, are subject to strict legal control and are subject to checks.
The use of the additive is not left to the free will of the manufacturer, but their positive list (list of allowed additives), production, traffic, quality (purity), usage restrictions, labeling and other requirements are regulated by law. An international procedure preceding the permission to use the additive has been established. The Joint Expert Committee of Food Additives (JECFA) establishes chemical specifications and assesses the health safety of the additives on the basis of which the Codex Allimentarius Commission adopts standards and recommendations for their use. These standards and recommendations of a UN member state are incorporated into their legal regulations. The Additive Regulation is the first harmonized food-related regulation in the EU, which introduced the concept of E numbers for the labeling of additives in Europe.
In our country, with regard to the control of the additive, there are certain inconsistencies, which can be formulated as a lack of a unique methodology, poor technical equipment of some laboratories, lack of staff, etc. In the European Union, far greater responsibility (control) is left to producers, but sanctions of state authorities are therefore extremely strict, if it is proven that regulations are not respected. In addition, consumers' associations in EU Member States are very active, so that any case of non-compliance with regulations is announced in the media, which results in a decline in the sale of products of the company that has violated the regulations.
E - Additives
Letter E means EC (European Communities).
E - Numbers refer to different types of food additives. Some E-codes are banned in some countries.
Emulsifiers are divided into the following categories:
E - Numbers Supplements in food production
100 - 180 Colors
200 - 252 Protective means
260 - 297 Acid Emulsifiers
300 - 385 Antioxidants
400 - 429 Coagulants
430 - 499 Emulsifiers
620 - 640 Flavor enhancers
950 - 967 Smoothing agents
Haram E - numbers
The following ingredients are considered haram:
E 120 - cochineal (red color obtained from insects).
E 441 - Gelatin, if it is of porcine origin.
E 542 - edible phosphate, obtained from bones, if they are pork.
Some ingredients are not completely halal. Hidden additions promote the development of production processes, such as: dissolving a substance or equally mixing the solution or treating ingredients in the production system. They are not listed in the list of ingredients on the product packaging, unless the law regulates the percentage that is allowed to be concealed. For example, in the US, a control permit allows only 2% of the total composition of a particular additive or food product to be masked on the packaging. For example, Beta Carotene as an ingredient in food in the US area is not completely clean. Its composition is halal 98%, while the remaining 2% can be vegetable oils or gelatin obtained from fish.