Chapter 34Food Additives
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Chapter 34Food Additives. 34.1 Introducing food additives. 34.2 Food colourings. 34.3 Food flavourings. 34.4 Food preservatives. 34.5 Are food additives really safe?. CONTENTS OF CHAPTER 34. 34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES PROCESSED FOODS AND FOOD ADDITIVES

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Chapter 34Food Additives

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Chapter 34 food additives

Chapter 34Food Additives

34.1Introducing food additives

34.2Food colourings

34.3Food flavourings

34.4Food preservatives

34.5Are food additives really safe?

CONTENTS OF CHAPTER 34


Chapter 34 food additives

34.1INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES

PROCESSED FOODS AND FOOD ADDITIVES

Some of the foods we eat are fresh. They are not processed. Most foods, however, are processed.

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


Chapter 34 food additives

Figure 34.1 Some unprocessed foods.

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


Chapter 34 food additives

Figure 34.2 All the foods and drinks shown here have been processed.

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


Chapter 34 food additives

In food processing, small amounts of certain chemicals are often added — these are called food additives.

A FOOD ADDITIVE is a chemical added to food to improve it or to preserve it.

The main reasons for using food additives are

to colour food

 to flavour food

 to change the texture (sponginess) of food

 to add nutrients

 to preserve food

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


Chapter 34 food additives

Figure 34.3

A fruit juice with the additive vitamin C.

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


Chapter 34 food additives

(a)

(b)

Figure 34.4

Would you like this soft drink if no artificial flavouring and colouring had been added to it?

(a)The ‘normal’ look of the soft drink.

(b)What the soft drink would look like if no artificial colouring had been added.

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


Chapter 34 food additives

CONTROL OF FOOD ADDITIVES

The EU (European Union) countries have drawn a list of 314 safe food additives. Each of them is given an E number.

Figure 34.5

The E number identifies an additive.

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


Chapter 34 food additives

TYPES OF FOOD ADDITIVES

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


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Table 34.1 Different types of food additives.

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


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INSPECTING FOOD LABELS FOR ADDITIVES

Figure 34.6 Can you list the basic foodstuff and food additives in this food?

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


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Figure 34.7 Can you list the food additives in these chocolate beans?

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


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A34.1

E110 is used as an artificial colouring.

E201 is used as a preservative.

E320 is used as an anti-oxidant.

E322 is used as an emulsifier and stabilizer.

A34.2

Colouring, preservative and flavouring.

34.1 INTRODUCING FOOD ADDITIVES


Chapter 34 food additives

34.2FOOD COLOURINGS

WHY USE FOOD COLOURINGS?

Food colourings are dyes. They are added to food for the following purposes:

To give food an attractive colour, so as to make it more appetizing and more saleable.

 To restore the original colour which may be changed or lost during food processing or storage.

 To ensure colour consistency.

34.2 FOOD COLOURINGS


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Figure 34.8

When fruits are processed, their colours change. Artificial colourings are added to make them look like fresh fruits.

34.2 FOOD COLOURINGS


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ARE FOOD COLOURINGS ESSENTIAL?

There is no definite conclusion to this. But one thing is certain — most processed foods on market nowadays contain colourings.

NATURAL AND SYNTHETIC COLOURINGS

Synthetic colourings are more commonly used.

USE OF COLOURINGS WORLDWIDE

In most places nowadays, the use of food colourings is under strict control by the government.

ANALYSING COLOURINGS BY CHROMATOGRAPHY

Food colourings can be analysed by chromatography.

34.2 FOOD COLOURINGS


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Paper chromatography of black ink..

34.2 FOOD COLOURINGS


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Figure 34.10

Colourful chocolate beans.

Figure 34.11

Chocolate beans become white when the colourings are removed.

34.2 FOOD COLOURINGS


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stopper

chromatography paper strip

spot of colouring

starting line

water

Figure 34.12

A simple set-up for paper chromatography of colouring on chocolate beans.

34.2 FOOD COLOURINGS


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To separate dyes in the colouring of a Smarties chocolate bean.

34.2 FOOD COLOURINGS


Chapter 34 food additives

34.3FOOD FLAVOURINGS

WHY USE FOOD FLAVOURINGS?

Flavourings are added to food for the following purposes:

To enhance flavour of food

 To restore the original flavour which may be lost during food processing

 To add flavour to foods which are tasteless themselves (e.g. ice cream, jelly)

34.3 FOOD FLAVOURINGS


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Figure 34.14

The flavour of an ice cream is due to the flavourings added.

34.3 FOOD FLAVOURINGS


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COMMON FLAVOURINGS

Flavourings make up the largest class of food additives. Both natural and artificial flavourings are used.

34.3 FOOD FLAVOURINGS


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Figure 34.15 Common flavourings.

34.3 FOOD FLAVOURINGS


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A34.3

Synthetic esters are widely used as fruit flavours in drinks, ice creams and sweets.

Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate is a white solid. It possesses little flavour of its own, but it can ‘bring out’ the flavour of foods. It is therefore actually a flavour enhancer.

34.3 FOOD FLAVOURINGS


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Figure 34.16 Monosodium glutamate is a widely-used flavour enhancer.

34.3 FOOD FLAVOURINGS


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Figure 34.17 Instant noodle supplied with the packet of flavouring (mainly MSG).

34.3 FOOD FLAVOURINGS


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34.4FOOD PRESERVATIVES

TO PRESERVE FOOD

Food spoilage is mainly due to micro-organisms (microbes). Thus there are two ways to preserve food:

Kill the microbes in food

 Keep food in conditions where the microbes cannot multiply

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


Chapter 34 food additives

(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure 34.19

Three main types of micro-organisms:

(a) Bacteria (b) Mould (c) Yeast

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Common methods to preserve food

Common methods to preserve food include:

Canning Cook food and then seal it in tin cans under sterile conditions.

Drying Dry food in the sun or in special ovens. Drying takes away the water needed by microbes.

Freezing and refrigeration Freeze food quickly. Freezing turns liquid water into ice, thus controlling the growth of microbes. Refrigeration slows down biochemical changes of microbes.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Irradiation Expose food to gamma rays from certain radioactive isotopes for a short time. The microbes are killed at once.

Using preservatives

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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(b)

(a)

(c)

(d)

Figure 34.20

Foods preserved by different methods:

(a)Canned foods.

(b)Dried fruits.

(c)Frozen foods.

(d)Irradiated strawberries (compared with non-irradiated ones)

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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A34.4

(a)Drying

(b)Canning

PRESERVATIVES AND THEIR FUNCTIONS

We add preservatives to food to kill microbes or inhibit their growth, so that the food spoils less quickly.

Common food preservatives are common salt, sugar, vinegar, sulphur dioxide, benzoic acid and sodium nitrite.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Common salt and sugar

Salting and sugaring are two of the oldest methods of preserving food.

Figure 34.21

Using salt to preserve fish.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Figure 34.22 Fruits preserved in strong sugar solution.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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A34.5

(a)Osmosis.

(b)Salting and sugaring.

Vinegar

Pickling in vinegar is a common method of preserving onions, cucumbers and beetroot.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Figure 34.23 Onion is pickled in vinegar.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Sulphur dioxide

Sulphur dioxide has been used in wine-making for hundreds of years to control the growth of unwanted microbes.

A wide range of other foods, such as fruit juices and dried fruits, also have sulphur dioxide added as a preservative.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Figure 34.24 Sulphur dioxide is a common preservative for dried fruits.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Benzoic acid

Benzoic acid (or sodium benzoate) is a preservative commonly used in fruit juices and other drinks. It is able to stop the growth of bacteria and yeasts.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Figure 34.25

Fruit juices usually contain small amounts of benzoic acid (or sodium benzoate) as preservative.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Sodium nitrite

In the process of manufacturing ham, bacon and sausages, the meats are soaked in a solution containing sodium chloride, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite. This is called curing.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Figure 34.26 Luncheon meat and ham contain sodium nitrite as preservative.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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Table 34.2 Main functions of food preservatives.

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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A34.6

(b) B, C(c) B (d) A, D

(e) A, C(f) D

34.4 FOOD PRESERVATIVES


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34.5ARE FOOD ADDITIVES REALLY SAFE?

DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON SAFETY OF FOOD ADDITIVES

It is hard to draw general rules to control food additives which would apply to all people.

34.5 ARE FOOD ADDITIVES REALLY SAFE?


Chapter 34 food additives

Activity 4

Some guiding questions for this discussion are:

Selecting one or two food items, try to decide what the food would be like without the additives. For example, what would vanilla-flavoured ice cream be like without colouring? Without flavouring? Without emulsifiers and stabilizers?

 For the same food items, would you still buy them without the additives? Or would you buy another different food instead?

 Are some types of additives more useful than others? If so, which ones? Could we do without any additives?

34.5 ARE FOOD ADDITIVES REALLY SAFE?


Chapter 34 food additives

Should we worry about the possible effect of food additives on health?

 Without food additives, the variety of food available in shops would be much smaller (just imagine potato crisps with no flavour). Would this have a great impact on sales?

A list of ingredients is not found in some foods, e.g. fresh fruit, vegetables and alcoholic drinks. Why do you think this is so? Should all foods have ingredient lists?

34.5 ARE FOOD ADDITIVES REALLY SAFE?


Chapter 34 food additives

POSSIBLE HAZARDS OF FOOD ADDITIVES

Possible hazards of some food additives to our health are:

Hazards of colourings

Food colourings permitted by law may not be really safe.

Hazards of MSG

Some people are allergic to MSG.

34.5 ARE FOOD ADDITIVES REALLY SAFE?


Chapter 34 food additives

Figure 34.27 All these contain much MSG.

34.5 ARE FOOD ADDITIVES REALLY SAFE?


Chapter 34 food additives

Hazards of preservatives

Sulphur dioxide would cause breathing difficulties and stomach upset in some asthma patients. Besides, sodium nitrite is suspected of causing cancer.

34.5 ARE FOOD ADDITIVES REALLY SAFE?


Chapter 34 food additives

SUMMARY

1.Afood additiveis a chemical added to food to improve it or to preserve it.

2.The main reasons for using food additives are:

To colour food (bycolourings)

 To flavour food (byflavourings)

 To keep oils and water mixed in food (byemulsifiersand stabilizers)

 To add nutrients

 To preserve food (bypreservatives)

SUMMARY


Chapter 34 food additives

3.Food additives approved by the EU countries often have an E number. (See Table 34.1 on p. 305.)

4.Paper chromatographycan be used to separate the dyes in food colourings.

5.Common food flavourings include common salt, sugar, vinegar and synthetic esters. MSG is a flavour enhancer.

6.Food spoilage is mainly due tomicro-organisms(bacteria, fungi, yeast).

7.Food preservatives include common salt, sugar, vinegar, sulphur dioxide, benzoic acid and sodium nitrite.

8.Food preservatives can function as such because they either kill microbes or inhibit their growth.

SUMMARY


Chapter 34 food additives

9.Some food additives such as tartrazine (E102) and sodium nitrite are hazardous to health.

SUMMARY


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