Essays by the halaal foundation pakistan

Types of Food Additives

During the Halaal certification course in South Africa, one of the presenters asked us how many ingredients are used in bread. The participants hardly named the four common ingredients: flour, salt, water and baking powder.
The presenter told that, in some kinds of bread,

more than 12 ingredients are used. Flour is its main ingredient while other ingredients are added for different purposes.
In the food industry, these additional ingredients are known as food additives.

Food additives are of several types according to their functions. And under every type, there are several food additives. For example, raising agent is a type or category of food additives which increase the volume of the food, usually during cooking, and the food additives which are used as raising agents are like yeast and baking powder.

In the same way, every type has many food additives. In the following chart, types of food additives and their functions have been presented so that if the consumers judge the food additives for their Shariah status, they can be aware of the functions thereof too.

Different Types of Food Additives and Their Functions:

S. No Type Function
1  Acids  

1)    To increase the acidity of foods

2)     Preservative
2  Acidity Regulators  

Change or maintain the acidity or   

        basicity of foods.
3  Anti-caking Agents  To Prevent caking, lumping or agglomeration
4  Anti-Foaming Agents  To prevent excessive foaming from occurring in food, usually a liquid
5  Anti-Oxidants  

1)    To stop oils and fats from combining with oxygen and turning rancid

2)   To extend the shelf life of vegetables and fruits
6  Bulking Agents  To increase bulk in the products without adding significant calories or food value
7  Carriers and Carrier Solvents  To dissolve a product and may later evaporate to leave the products in place such as water, alcohol, etc.
8  Colours  

1)    To make food more appetizing

2)  To make the existing food colour brighter
9  Emollients  To make soft or smooth
10  Emulsifiers  To mix together ingredients like oil and water that would normally separate
11  Firming Agents  To Precipitate residual pectin, thus strengthening the supporting tissue preventing its collapse during processing.
12  Flavor Enhancers  To make the existing flavor in the food stronger
13  Flour Treatment Agents  To improve the colour of flour or its use in baking
14  Foaming Agents  To make foods Foamy, either to make them visually attractive or to increase volume
15  Gelling Agents  To cause a liquid to set, such as pectin or gelatin when added to jellies
16  Glazing Agents  To produce or increase the shine on a food, such as a fruit garnish.
17  Humectants  To prevent food from drying out.
18  Modified Starches  

1)    To give texture to products such as sauces gravies, soups and pie fillings and in dried instant foods

2)    To frozen food products to prevent liquid loss during defrosting

3)    To improve the creamy texture in low fat foods such as yoghurt

4)    Starch is also the raw material for the industrial manufacture of glucose syrups and sweeteners
19  Packaging Gases  To provide an atmosphere in packaged food, which prevent the growth of bacteria and molds
20  Preservatives  To keep food safe for longer
21  Propellants  To expel food from its container, such as the gas in aerosol cream
22  Raising Agents  To increase the volume of the food, usually during cooking such as, yeast or baking powder
23  Stabilizers  To prevent the mixture like oil and water from separating
24  Sequestrants  To react with trace metals, forming tightly bound complexes (Sequestered), thereby preventing the decomposition of the food
25  Sweeteners  To increase sweetness
26  Thickness   

1)   To produce viscous solutions

2)    To improve consistency

3)     To stabilize emulsions