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Food additives & ingredients in food processing in compliance with WHO rules
Friday, 31 July, 2020, 16 : 00 PM [IST]
Sagar Neve
Despite the challenges posed by Corona virus, the safety and quality of the global food supply remains strong, and that food additives continue to play a vital role in maintaining the quality of foods in the home pantry.

There has been a rise in kitchen cupboard staple products such as rice, flours, lentils, grains and bakery ingredients. In this spirit, food additives can ensure food products remain shelf-stable, extend product shelf life, and allow consumers to stock up on food products without fear of immediate expiration.

Food being an essential commodity, the demand for food ingredients is expected to rise during the pandemic and post-pandemic conditions, worldwide. Having said that, Covid-19 has majorly impacted the food and beverages industry and in turn has changed the dynamics of entire ecosystem including raw material suppliers, supplying food ingredients.

Demand for baking ingredients
Increasing spread of Covid-19 has mandated the manufacturers to deploy precautionary measures in their facilities including labours and plant controllers screening and monitoring, and sanitising the facilities. Food ingredient giants such as Mondelez International and Tata Consumer Products Limited, among others have witnessed a sudden rise of 60 per cent in the demand for baking ingredients such as cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.

In order to cope with the spike in demand, the production capacities have been increased, and in turn the facilities are running at higher throughput.
While there have been reports of shortages of certain food products on a retail level, which are primarily due to transportation and restocking issues as well as panic buying earlier on in the Corona virus outbreak, Covid-19 has not had an impact on food safety.

There is no evidence of Covid-19 transmission through food or food packaging, including imported goods such as food and drugs for animals and pets. There have also been no cases of Covid-19 associated with imported goods.

During this challenging time, consumers are often minimising their time in stores and supermarkets but also stocking up on food and packaged foods containing food additives is a viable solution. In addition to contributing to taste, texture, freshness and the overall appearance of food, food additives contribute to product stability and shelf life.
However, food companies will now have to adhere to WHO rules and regulations post the pandemic by making sure utmost safety and rules for safety are followed during the production.

The food industry should have Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles in place to manage food safety risks and prevent food contamination. In order to avoid contamination, food companies will have to shift towards natural food additives instead of additives created in the lab.

Food additives market is segmented based by type, application and region
Based on type, the market has been segmented into:
By Product [Flavours & Enhancers (Natural and Artificial), Sweeteners (High-intensity Sweeteners (HIS), High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), and Others) Emulsifiers (Stearoyl Lactylates, Mono-, Di-Glycerides and Derivatives, Sorbitan Esters, Lecithin, and Others), Fat Replacers (Protein, Starch, and Others), Shelf-life Stabilisers, Enzymes, Others)
Based on application, the market has been segmented into:
Regional and country-level analysis of food additives market of different geographical areas is studied deeply and an economical scenario has been offered to support new entrants, leading market players, and investors to regulate emerging economies. The top producers and consumers focus on production, product capacity, value, consumption, growth opportunity, and market share in these key regions, covering

There are several important food additive classifications which contribute to product stability:
Preservatives help extend the life of foods and prevent spoilage. Preservatives also help foods maintain their appearance, taste and texture. Preservatives are found in a variety of foods including jellies, cereals, oils and baked goods.

Preservatives come in many different forms. For example, sugar, salt and vinegar are often used to delay the growth of bacteria in foods. Antioxidants help reduce oxidation in foods, increasing shelf life and preventing spoilage and phosphates are used to help preserve processed meat and poultry products.

Emulsifiers, stabilisers and thickeners are all common food additives which help maintain the appearance of foods while preserving freshness and quality. Emulsifiers help to prevent oil and water mixtures from separating within a product.

They are found in a variety of foods, including margarine, ice cream, bread, chocolate and some processed meats. Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids are a common example of an emulsifier that disperses fat in foods to allow it to become more water-soluble. They can also help reduce food waste by keeping foods mixed.

Stabilisers help ingredients stay dispersed and suspended in a product solution. Stabilisers are commonly used in beverages – such as fruit and vegetable juices – as well as liquid infant formula. Some common stabilisers include gellan gum and carrageenan.

Thickeners enhance the texture of foods and can give low fat or reduced calorie foods the texture of full fat/calorie options. Xanthan gum is a common thickener and can even be purchased in grocery stores.

Firming agents help foods maintain their crisp quality and strength. They are also commonly used to help prolong shelf life. Firming agents are used in a variety of foods including canned meats, pickles, fruits and vegetables. Sodium citrate, also known as citric acid, is a common firming agent derived from citrus fruit.

(The author is owner of Mondo Fine Dine. He can be contacted at sagar@nevehospitality.com)
 
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