Food Additives and Human Health

Flavour Enhancers

Author(s): Mahalingam Jeyakumar and Kasi Pandima Devi

Pp: 154-172 (19)

Doi: 10.2174/9789811446139120010011

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)

Abstract

Food flavors are chemicals that are added to food to enhance their smell and taste. Many of the food additives used by the food industries occur naturally in food that people consume each day. The flavors used by our ancestors were mostly isolated from the natural sources; however, since there was only limited supply, the food industries started using nature-identical and synthetic flavors as an alternative to the natural one. The sodium salt of glutamic acid, which is called Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer found naturally in tomato, parmesan cheese, and sardines in significant quantities and it is also produced synthetically. The synthetically produced MSG is one of the best food flavour enhancers used in many types of foods in the world, which are added during the different stages of foods for improving the taste, smell and shelf life. Though many flavor enhancers or food potentiators are considered to be safe, they are voluntarily discontinued to be used in baby foods, as a precaution. The current review discusses the types, uses and properties of the flavor enhancers commonly used in foods.


Keywords: Food additives, Food industry, Flavour enhancers, Health effects, Maximum usage level.

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