food additive

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food additive

any of a large variety of substances added to foods to prevent spoilage, improve appearance, enhance flavor or texture, or increase nutritional value. Most food additives must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine whether they can cause cancer, birth defects, or other health problems. Examples include butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene in vitro, antioxidants that are added to fats to retard rancidity.

food additive

Food industry
Any of a number of chemicals and other products incorporated into processed foods, including flavourings (e.g., monosodium glutamate), preservatives (e.g., BHA and BHT) and dyes (e.g., nitrates and FD&C Yellow No. 5, or tartrazine). Food additives may cause allergic reactions and are believed by some to have a role in causing attention deficit disorder, cancer, migraines and sinusitis.

food additive

A substance added to food to maintain or impart a certain consistency, to improve or maintain nutritive value, to enhance palatability or flavor, to produce a light texture, or to control pH. Food additives are used to help bread rise during baking, to keep bread mold-free, to color margarine, to prevent discoloration of some fruits, and to prevent fats and oils from becoming rancid. The FDA regulates their use.
See also: additive


1. characterized by addition.
2. a substance added to another to improve its appearance, increase its nutritive value, etc. See feed additive.

food additive
material added to food; includes preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers, acids, nonstick agents, humectants, firming agents, antifoaming agents, colorings and flavorings, solvents, and even nutritive materials such as minerals and vitamins.
additive gene action
1. total contribution made by all loci to a polygenic trait.
2. when the heterozygote is intermediate in phenotype between the two homozygotes, i.e. a lack of dominance.
additive genetic relationship
the degree of relationship (number of genes held in common) between two individuals neither of which is inbred; the minimum relationship is 0 and the maximum is 1.0.
additive genetic variance
variance attributed to the mean effect of substituting one allele for another at any given loci.
intramammary infusion additive
agents, e.g. anti-inflammatories, added to improve pharmacological efficacy.
additive relationship
see additive genetic relationship (above).


materials taken into the body by mouth which provide nourishment in the form of energy or in the building of tissues. Common usage is to use the term in relation to humans and dogs and cats and to use feed for the other animals but the rule is not absolute. See also diet, ration, feed.

food additive
nonfood materials added to a diet to enhance or limit a body function, e.g. growth, to control infection or to physically alter the food to facilitate handling or processing or preserving. See food additive.
food allergy
an immune-mediated reaction to a food or food additive; clinical signs are most commonly demonstrated in the alimentary tract or skin but may affect any system and in any hypersensitivity mode. Commonly diagnosed in dogs, occasionally in horses, but rarely in the other species. Called food hypersensitivity. See also dermatitis, pruritus, angioedema, urticaria, gastroenteritis.
food anaphylaxis
an acute allergic response to a food or food additive, with systemic signs typical of anaphylaxis in the species concerned. See also systemic anaphylaxis.
food animals
animals used in the production of food for humans. Includes, in common usage, the species and breeds that also supply fiber and hides for human use. Use of this term has spawned a rash of new knowledge disciplines such as food animal medicine, food animal ophthalmology, and new service areas such as food animal practice.
food borne disease
a disease with food as the source of infection. An example is Eschericia coli 0157:H7 infection of humans via hamburger meat.
food bumps
food chain
the path taken by a raw food product from the farm or other producing unit to the table of the consumer. Includes sale, transport, storage, processing, packaging and retail sale and all of the points of risk at which the food may become contaminated or spoiled or corrupted in some way.
food contaminants
include bacteria, parasites and toxic residues.
food conversion ratio
efficiency in converting the food into energy or tissue; a characteristic of the food relating largely to digestibility.
food exchanges
foods of approximately equivalent levels of energy, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, which may be exchanged or substituted in a diet without significant alteration to its nutritional balance.
generic food
see generic pet food.
food hypersensitivity
see food allergy (above).
food idiosyncrasy
an adverse reaction to ingested food by an individual, not mediated by immune mechanisms; may be due to an enzyme defect.
food intake
amount of food taken in a unit of time, usually daily.
food intolerance
an abnormal physiologic response to food which is not immune-mediated.
food legislation
the content, purity and public health connotations of animal foods are usually controlled by local legislation.
manufactured food
those commercially formulated and prepared; includes stock feeds, particularly supplements and pellets, canned and dry dog and cat foods.
food marker
inert material included in food to measure speed of passage of food through alimentary tract.
pet food
usually refers to commercially prepared food such as canned, semimoist, dry, kibbled, biscuits, loaves, and butcher's scraps in various forms provided for dogs and cats.
plant-based food
usual in livestock, but in carnivores it refers to mixed-source diets with a high plant-origin carbohydrate content; a common formula in commercially prepared pet foods.
food poisoning
a group of acute illnesses due to ingestion of a specific toxin in the food. Usually causes gastroenteritis and vomiting and diarrhea.
food refusal syndrome
observed mostly in pigs; refusal to eat a particular feed or meal but willing to eat other feeds. See also food refusal factor, deoxynivalenol, vomitoxin.
food rewards
the many types of food items owners and trainers use to reward their dogs or cats for behavior that pleases them; may be a part of training and behavior modification programs, but is often done simply as a result of the owner's affection for the pet.
food specific dynamic action
see specific dynamic action.
food toxicity
may be the result of toxins or microorganisms contaminating the food or excessive levels of a nutrient, such as vitamin A.
References in periodicals archive ?
Food additives play a vital role in today's bountiful and nutritious food supply.
In the category of specific food additives data on zeaxanthin, a naturally occurring xanthophyll pigment has also been evaluated.
By the end of 2010, there were more than 2,000 food additive manufacturers in China and the industrial pattern dominated by Guangdong Province, Zhejiang Province, Jiangsu Province and Shanghai as the major production places was formed.
While there are no specific limits on the particle size of titanium dioxide used as a food additive, food-grade titanium dioxide consists mainly of larger granules, with limited nanoparticle content.
Additionally the new standard now includes food additives from 14 supplement documents published from 2010 to 2014.
Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives Meeting (73d: 2010: Geneva, Switzerland)
The European Parliament's Committee on Health adopted the foodstuffs package', at second reading, on 6 May, by reintroducing amendments to clarify the new procedure for the European authorisation of food additives, enzymes and flavourings and to improve consumer protection.
Speaking of food additive reviews, NFPA has led an industry coalition that's been meeting with FDA for more than a year to reform the way food additive petitions are reviewed by the agency.
That way, it could avoid having to ask the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the cholesterol-lowering stanol esters as a food additive.
Like a biochemical Prince Charming, a common food additive can awaken a sleeping gene that then ameliorates the symptoms of sickle cell anemia and betathalassemia, a new report suggests.
Pauls amendment, which he introduced after hearing about this issue from a Kentucky company, requires the FDA to consider data from studies conducted in other countries when a company submits those studies as part of their food additive petition.
A study was designed to assess the perception of students of medical and dental college about harmful health effects of monosodium glutamate MSG as food additive.