“The rapidly growing world population and climate change cause difficulties in accessing food. While millions of people die because of malnutrition every year, the sector of bakery, baked goods, biscuit, and pasta shows great efforts to feed people. To prevent waste and to find a solution to malnutrition, the sector uses additives at proper measure determined by the Common Food Additives Materials’ Expert Commission of FAO and WHO. The important element is to add the right amount of additives to the right product within the allowed amount by this international regulation. Additives for foods describe the ingredients used to develop a food product.”
In order to smooth the use, amount, and safety of additives and trade among countries, the Food Additives and Joint Expert Commission of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) determine. This commission decides on the maximum use of food additives, evaluates all toxicological studies, and examines whether the value of Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is safe or not. Thus, the amounts that food additives can be found in the product are determined.
In Turkey, regulations are adapted based on the standards of the European Union. The international standards for the quantities to be used and for the definition of products are applied. Through laboratories under the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, additive analysis in various food products is conducted to see whether the additive used is allowed and whether the amount used exceeds the allowed quantity. In this way, market supervision is carried out. In most of the times, companies that do not act within rules face sanctions.
Unfortunately, in our country, additives are considered as harmful because of disinformation and some misuse. Consumers are confused over the use of additives in baked goods particularly bread. Traditionally, bread is prepared with a mixture of flour, water, salt, and yeast and baked at the end. However, from earlier times, bread – one of the prominent common foodstuffs of humanity – is baked with traditional stuff while other stuff like sugar, oil, some spices, and plants are added into bread.
Trends in supply and demand for bread all over the world are in line with the expectations and preferences in the market. As a way to bake bread with different features and structures, people have been aware of the fact for a long time that some methods are needed to develop in the production methods and natural or natural-like, healthy materials as additives should be used in bread. Every day, people want more reliability in product purchase. People are closely monitoring the production conditions, storage, distribution, and marketing of bread. So, in order to increase the quality, producers try to fix the appearance or increase the durability, increase the value by adding aroma and seasoning or to add allowed additives into bread to delay the staling. The value of the product marketed for consumption is increased by increasing the quality via eliminating some flaws and missing that stemmed from the flour mixture and features and by saving from time and workforce to increase the profitability of companies.
Flour is one of the ingredients in which additives are used. Generally speaking, the purpose of this is to process products in which flour is used in an easier way, to prevent quality fluctuations, and to bake in high volume in a continuous way in the flour sector. Additives are collected under the headings of oxidizing agents, reducing agents, enzymes, emulsifiers and dough amplifiers. Oxidants and enzymes are used in the flour production and directly added to flour, while others are generally used in the production of bread and bakery products.
In order to add any additives to food, the Food Additives Commission of Experts has to work for a long time. The studies are conducted to see the right dosage, the stage in which additives are added, and when any additives are added to food it would not have any adverse effect. The important thing is to add the right amount of additives to the right product within allowed international regulations. If companies do not have enough information about food additives, it would lead to uneconomic production processes.
The bread additive is not a consumable, but a process auxiliary product. Process auxiliary products develop all elements we expect from in bread quality while protecting the taste and natural smell of bread. In fact, “additives” that we use for food define those materials to develop a food product. But they are perceived as unhealthy materials to cheat in food and to cover any missing thing in food. However, food additives help to turn food product into safe and healthy products that we enjoy to consume.