At present, the international food additives are usually divided into three categories:natural additives,two is the fermentation method, the three is a pure chemical synthesis. According to the 1981 Japan Food Additives Association of natural additives for the following definitions: exist in nature as the raw material, use of drying, crushing, separation and precipitation, extraction, decomposition, heating, distillation, fermentation and enzyme treatment method to make the natural additives.
According to the provisions of the Food Sanitation Law (1995),natural additives is to improve the food color, aroma, taste, quality, and the need for the preservation and processing and so we join them into food. There are 23 categories of food additives in China, more than 2000 varieties, including acidity regulator, anti caking agent, defoaming agent, antioxidant, bleaching agent, leavening agents, colorants, color protecting agent, enzyme preparation, flavoring agent, nutrition fortifier, preservatives, sweeteners, thickener, flavor and so on.
Definition of food additives in the nations of the world are not the same,the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (who) and Codex Alimentarius Commission definition of food additives: food additives is to consciously general with a small amount of added to food,its concept is to improve the food, flavor and organizational structures or storage properties of non nutritive substances. According to this definition, in order to enhance the nutritional composition of food ,for the purpose of the food additive should not be included in the scope of food additives.
People tend to think of natural food additives are better than artificial chemical synthesis about safety, the actual toxicity of many natural products according to the detection means, the limit of detection of the contents ,it still can not make accurate judgment and had detected the results of comparison.
The toxicity of food additives refers to its ability to cause damage to the body. Toxicity in chemical structure and material itself and physicochemical properties on the outside, and effective concentration, action time, and contact way and location, material interacts with the body function condition.