What are Food Additives?


What are food additives?
Food additives are often used in food manufacturing process for various purposes such as extending the storage life of food, making the food tastier and more appealing, etc. There are different types of food additives, including colours, preservatives, sweeteners, antioxidants, flavor enhancers and emulsifiers, etc.
Does it mean that food containing food additives is unsafe?
Generally speaking, food additives are low in toxicity and the minimal amount is often used to achieve the desired effect. In other words, food additives are safe if they are used in accordance with the international standards. However, susceptible people are advised to pay special attention as food additives may bring about acute health effects to them even though only a small amount is used.
Will occasional intake of food additives above the acceptable daily intake (ADI) pose any health risks?
Acceptable daily intake (ADI) is the standard established by The Joint Food Agriculture Organization / World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) after collecting and analyzing scientific data on food additives. The ADI of food additives is expressed on a body weight basis and estimates the amount that a person can consume daily over a lifetime without posing health risks. Since ADI emphasizes on a person’s lifetime intake, occasional intake of food additives above the ADI will not result in immediate adverse health effects.