Food Additives

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Also known as: surface acting agent, surfactant, wetting agent.
Commercial source: vegetable, synthetic, animal (cow- or hog-derived, eggs, milk).
Exists in: living organisms.
Used in: processed foods, shortening, margarine, peanut butter, dry mixes, ice cream, soft drinks, some dairy products, candy, pickles, nondairy creamer, chocolate, baked goods.
Examples:: mono- and diglycerides, lecithin, propylene glycol mono-stearate, polysorbates 60, 65, and 80, calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate.
Definition: A large class of food additives which helps unlike ingredients (e.g., water and oil), mix and stay mixed.
Typically Vegetarian


Commercial source: bacterial, fungal, vegetable, or animal (cow- or hog-derived). Certain food uses rely on one source more than others. See entries on individual enzymes for more information..
Used in: baked goods, cheese, foods containing sugars derived from corn, meat tenderizers.
Examples:: lactase, lipase, papain, pectinase, protease, rennet, trypsin.
Definition: A protein added to foods as a modifier.
Typically Vegetarian

Product information: Most companies today, including Chr. Hansen, Cargill, and Danisco, told me that they produce enzymes from microbial fermentation using bacteria or fungi growing on all-vegetable based media. Employees of the companies state that the microbial product can be more easily purified and its quality as well as quantity more readily assured, unlike the supply of animal enzymes. One exception is a class of enzymes called lipases (used in some cheese production) which remains largely animal- (hog) derived. An employee from AB Enzymes told me that most enzymes used in baked goods are all-vegetable based produced from microbial fermentation. Most microbially-produced enzymes are certified kosher and halal. In some cases, enzymes do not have to be labeled as ingredients

essential oil

Also known as: light oil.
Commercial source: vegetable.
Used in: pickles, processed meats.
Examples: oil of clove, oil of cumin.
Definition: An additive derived from plants and used primarily as a flavoring.


See ethyl alcohol.

ethyl alcohol

Also known as: ethanol, grain alcohol.
Commercial source: vegetable.
Exists in: synthetic form.
Used in: candy, beverages, ice cream, baked goods, liquors, beer, wine, sauces, gelatin desserts, pizza crust, vanilla extract.
Definition: A basic ingredient in many foods which dissolves other ingredients or makes beverages alcoholic.

Product information: Archer Daniels Midland Co., one of the world’s leading producers of this substance, derives it from corn.

ethyl vanillin

See vanillin.