Food additives have been around almost as long as man himself.
Food additives have been used to preserve food from one harvest
to the next with better appearance and nutritional value for thousands
of years. The ancient Egyptians used colours and flavourings to
make food look and taste better, while ancient Romans utilised
spices, salt and vegetable colouring to enhance their meals. All
over the world, salting and smoking food has been practised to
recently, technology and the discovery of new, effective food
additives has led to their widespread use. These include emulsifiers
in margarine (to keep it in a solid block), baking soda in cake
mixes and gelling agents in jams. The use of these additives has
offered consumers a wide range of reasonably priced foodstuffs
of a high and constant quality. In fact, without food additives,
it would be impossible to produce low-calorie or low-fat products
such as margarine.