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The pursuit of happiness through the enjoyment of food is a centuries old human endeavor. Taste, texture, freshness and eye appeal are major contributors to such enjoyment, made possible in our modern lifestyle through the use of highly specialized ingredients known as food additives.

The broadest practical definition of a food additive is any substance that becomes part of a food product either directly or indirectly during some phase of processing, storage or packaging. Direct food additives, which are discussed in this publication, are those that have intentionally been included for a functional purpose by the food processor, whereas indirect additives are those migrating into food products in very small quantities as a result of growing, processing or packaging.

Food additives afford us the convenience and enjoyment of a wide variety of appetizing, nutritious, fresh, and palatable foods. Their quantities in food are small, yet their impact is great. Without additives, we would be unfortunately lacking in the abundant and varied foods that we enjoy today.

For more about food additives, visit MakingFoodBetter.org.


© 2014 International Food Additives Council

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