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Food Additive Functional Classes

The food additive functional classes are based on the Codex Class Names and the International Numbering System (INS) for Food Additives (CAC/GL 36-1989).

Clicking a "functional class" will display a list of all food additives associated with that function.

Acidity regulator
A food additive, which controls the acidity or alkalinity of a food.
  • acid
  • acidifier
  • acidity regulator
  • alkali
  • base
  • buffer
  • buffering agent
  • pH adjusting agent
Anticaking agent
Reduces the tendency of particles of food to adhere to one another.
  • anticaking agent
  • anti-stick agent
  • drying agent
  • dusting agent
Antifoaming agent
A food additive, which prevents or reduces foaming.
  • antifoaming agent
  • defoaming agent
Antioxidant
A food additive, which prolongs the shelf-life of foods by protecting against deterioration caused by oxidation.
  • antibrowning agent
  • antioxidant
  • antioxidant synergist
Bleaching agent
A food additive (non-flour use) used to decolourize food. Bleaching agents do not include pigments.
  • bleaching agent
Bulking agent
A food additive, which contributes to the bulk of a food without contributing significantly to its available energy value.
  • bulking agent
  • filler
Carbonating agent
A food additive used to provide carbonation in a food.
  • carbonating agent
Carrier
A food additive used to dissolve, dilute, disperse or otherwise physically modify a food additive or nutrient without altering its function (and without exerting any technological effect itself) in order to facilitate its handling, application or use of the food additive or nutrient.
  • carrier
  • carrier solvent
  • diluent for other food additives
  • encapsulating agent
  • nutrient carrier
Colour
A food additive, which adds or restores colour in a food.
  • colour
  • decorative pigment
  • surface colorant
Colour retention agent
A food additive, which stabilizes, retains or intensifies the colour of a food.
  • color adjunct
  • colour fixative
  • colour retention agent
  • colour stabilizer
Emulsifier
A food additive, which forms or maintains a uniform emulsion of two or more phases in a food.
  • clouding agent
  • crystallization inhibitor
  • density adjustment agent (flavouring oils in beverages)
  • dispersing agent
  • emulsifier
  • plasticizer
  • surface active agent
  • suspension agent
Emulsifying salt
A food additive, which, in the manufacture of processed food, rearranges proteins in order to prevent fat separation.
  • emulsifying salt
  • emulsifying salt synergist
  • melding salt
Firming agent
A food additive, which makes or keeps tissues of fruit or vegetables firm and crisp, or interacts with gelling agents to produce or strengthen a gel.
  • firming agent
Flavour enhancer
A food additive, which enhances the existing taste and/or odour of a food.
  • flavour enhancer
  • flavour synergist
Flour treatment agent
A food additive, which is added to flour or dough to improve its baking quality or colour.
  • dough conditioner
  • dough strengthening agent
  • flour bleaching agent
  • flour improver
  • flour treatment agent
Foaming agent
A food additive, which makes it possible to form or maintain a uniform dispersion of a gaseous phase in a liquid or solid food.
  • aerating agent
  • foaming agent
  • whipping agent
Gelling agent
A food additive, which gives a food texture through formation of a gel.
  • gelling agent
Glazing agent
A food additive, which when applied to the external surface of a food, imparts a shiny appearance or provides a protective coating.
  • coating agent
  • film forming agent
  • glazing agent
  • polishing agent
  • sealing agent
  • surface-finishing agent
Humectant
A food additive, which prevents food from drying out by counteracting the effect of a dry atmosphere.
  • humectant
  • moisture/water retention agent
  • wetting agent
Packaging gas
A food additive gas, which is introduced into a container before, during or after filling with food with the intention to protect the food, for example, from oxidation or spoilage.
  • packaging gas
Preservative
A food additive, which prolongs the shelf-life of a food by protecting against deterioration caused by microorganisms.
  • antimicrobial preservative
  • antimicrobial synergist
  • antimould and antirope agent
  • antimycotic agent
  • bacteriophage control agent
  • fungistatic agent
  • preservative
Propellant
A food additive gas, which expels a food from a container.
  • propellant
Raising agent
A food additive or a combination of food additives, which liberate(s) gas and thereby increase(s) the volume of a dough or batter.
  • raising agent
Sequestrant
A food additive, which controls the availability of a cation.
  • sequestrant
Stabilizer
A food additive, which makes it possible to maintain a uniform dispersion of two or more components.
  • binder
  • colloidal stabilizer
  • emulsion stabilizer
  • foam stabilizer
  • stabilizer
  • stabilizer synergist
Sweetener
A food additive (other than a mono- or disaccharide sugar), which imparts a sweet taste to a food.
  • bulk sweetener
  • intense sweetener
  • sweetener
Thickener
A food additive, which increases the viscosity of a food.
  • binder
  • bodying agent
  • texturizing agent
  • thickener
  • thickener synergist

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