Labels And Food Additives

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Food labels carry a wealth of information that will help you in making healthy food choices. Food labels will give you a list of ingredients as well as any additives or preservatives. The nutritional information will also be found on the label, including the fat and protein content as well as the sugar content.

The list of ingredients

All the ingredients found in the product must be listed in the list of ingredients found on the label. These ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight. In other words, the ingredient that is first on the list is present in the largest proportion. The ingredient that is last on the list is present in the least proportion.

An additive, preservative or allergen, must be listed no matter how small the amount is.

Food additives and preservatives

Food additives are chemicals that are used to enhance the flavor or appearance of the food product. Some people may be sensitive or have allergies to some additives.

Preservatives are a chemical that can be either synthetic or natural based. They are used in order to preserve the food and give it a longer shelf life.

All preservatives and additives have a specific number or chemical name that they are listed as and must be approved by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

The different types of food additive and their uses include: 1

Anti-caking agents stop ingredients from becoming lumpy. Antioxidants prevent foods from oxidizing, or going rancid. Artificial sweeteners increase the sweetness. Emulsifiers stop fats from clotting together. Food acids maintain the right acid level. Colors enhance or add color. Humectants keep foods moist. Flavors add flavor. Flavor enhancers increase the power of a flavor. Foaming agents maintain uniform aeration of gases in foods. Mineral salts enhance texture and flavor. Preservatives stop microbes from multiplying and spoiling the food. Thickeners and vegetable gums enhance texture and consistency. Stabilizers and firming agents maintain even food dispersion.

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