Food is one of the essential needs of humans and animals. But, unfortunately, chemicals are also included in the food we eat.
Every human being need the following three kinds of food:
These are required for the physical growth of the body. E.g., Proteins.
Energy giving foods:
These are the foods that supply power for the functioning of parts human body. E.g., Carbohydrates and Fats.
Energy giving foods
These defend us from deficiency diseases. E.g., Vitamins and Minerals.
Every human wants all these three kinds of foods in proper proportion for the smooth functioning of the body. Therefore, the diet that contains all these three foods in an adequate ratio is called a Balanced diet.
Food chemistry is the branch of chemistry concerned with analysing, processing, packaging, and using materials, including bioenergy, to ensure food safety and quality.
(a) Goals of food chemistry:
- The main goal of food chemistry is to meet the population's demand for high-quality food sustainably.
- Food chemists conduct primary research to determine how proteins, fats, starches, and carbohydrates and micro components such as additives and flavourings function in a food system.
- They frequently develop new ways to use ingredients or unique ingredients in application research, such as fat or sugar replacements.
(b) Chemicals in Food:
- The food we eat in our everyday life includes natural or synthetic chemicals. They serve various functions in the human body.
They are essential chemicals present in food. They are needed for the growth, physiological and metabolic activities of the body. Nutrients are natural or artificial. E.g., Proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals.
These are the chemicals that are added to food for specific purposes. The different types of additives of foods are given in the table.
Type of additive
The function of the additive
|Preservatives||They prevent food from spoilage by microorganisms in storage.||Vinegar, Sodium benzoate, benzoic acid, sodium nitrite.|
|Colourants||They give food a pleasing colour.||Carotenoids, Anthocyanin, Curcumin.|
|Artificial Sweeteners||They give food a sweet taste.||Saccharin, Cyclamate.|
|Flavour enhancers||They are used to improve the flavour of food.||Monosodium glutamate, Calcium diglutamate.|
|Antioxidants||They keep food from oxidising. They protect us from heart disease and stroke.||Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Carotene.|