Heathen's Kitchen Witches Compendium

Food Additives and Preservatives

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Edited By Crimsonwolf

Food Additives and Preservatives

Additives - any substances that become part of a food product when added either intentionally to produce a desired effect or unintentionally through processing, storage or packaging.

Preservatives - any additives that help maintain a food's freshness and keep it from spoiling or oxidizing.

Amino acids

Compounds needed by the human body in a certain combination. Animal protein usually has the needed composition, but amino acids are also used to fortify vegetables.

Anti-caking agents

Chemicals such as silicon dioxide, calcium silicate and iron ammonium citrate are added to powdered foods to prevent clumping.

(butylated hydroxytolulene)

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytolulene) are preservatives that block oxidization in fats and oils, preventing rancidity. These chemicals can also be found in snacks, cereals and instant potatoes.

B vitamins

Niacin, thiamin and riboflavin. Vitamins added to or used to enrich bread, flour and cereals to help combat nutritional deficiencies.

D & C

Prefix meaning that a dye is FDA-approved for drugs and cosmetics.


An additive used in the preparation and processing of foods, used to blend or mix ingredients together and keep them from separating.

Ext. D & C

Prefix signifying a dye is FDA-approved for externally applied drugs and cosmetics only.

FD & C

Prefix for a dye that is FDA-approved for foods, drugs and cosmetics.


An additive used to retain moisture and to keep marshmallows and candies soft.


Added to salt to prevent a goiter, an iodine-deficiency condition.


Added to foods to help prevent anemia and other iron-deficiency diseases.


An emulsifier, or mixing agent, that helps fat and water stay together. Lecithin is present in egg yolks and milk; it aids mixing in mayonnaise and ice cream.

Mono- and Dyglycerides

Emulsifiers present in bread, margarine and peanut butter.

MSG (monosodium glutamate)

A flavor enhancer derived from beet sugar. MSG is found in some prepared foods and is widely used in restaurants. In some people it causes a reaction known as "Chinese restaurant syndrome," consisting of tightness in the chest, a burning feeling in the neck and forearms, and a headache. This syndrome usually ceases without the need for medical attention.


Chemicals used in combination with salt to impede the growth of the bacterial spores that cause botulism. Nitrites are also used as preservatives and flavor and color enhancers.

Red #3

A dye whose uses in foods may be banned in the near future because of health concerns.

Red #40

The most common food dye.


A sweetener that also helps retain moisture.


Antioxidants used primarily to prevent discoloration in dried fruits and other preserved products and to retard bacteria growth in wine. A small number of people may react adversely to sulfites, with problems varying from difficulty breathing to hives to stomachache to anaphylactic shock. Sulfite-sensitive people should avoid foods whose labels list the sulfites sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfite, sodium or potassium bisulfite, and sodium or potassium metabisulfite.

Vitamin D

Common additive to milk. This enrichment has helped prevent the childhood bone disease known as rickets, which was caused by a vitamin D deficiency.

Yellow #5

The second most common food dye. In a small number of people, Yellow #5 may cause itching or hives. It is listed on labels so that sensitive people can avoid it.




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