Part 1 of this three-part series discussed the dilemma in which companies often find themselves when incorporating natural food additives into their food and beverage products. Part 2 will cover why food additives are necessary for a sustainable and secure global food supply and the current and pending regulations to ensure public health safety and awareness.
What do Food Additives Do?
Nearly 3000 direct food additives are used in U.S. food manufacturing. Some of these additives are natural like salt, sugar, yeast, vanilla and fruit juice. Many are synthetic with ominous names like butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA) or cara geenan. All food additives, regardless of origin, serve a purpose such as prolonging shelf life, reducing spoilage, increasing flavor and color, improving consistency and mouth feel, and enhancing nutritional quality, all of which may be diminished or lost in processing. Ultimately, food additives increase availability, quality and safety of foods and beverages while maintaining a lower production cost. Additives allow foods to be shipped all over the world with decreased waste. Overall, additives increase the sustainability and stability of our food supply, but some have been proven detrimental to human health causing suspicion and concern regarding synthetic additives in general.
Several major trends drive the use of food additives–or the replacement of synthetic additives with natural additives:
- Health and nutrition
- Food safety
- Desire for convenience
- R&D costs
- Regulatory compliance
- New product development
- Sustainability and ethical sourcing of raw materials
Read full article on Sustainable Business Forum.