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Functional ingredients or additives ensure that our foods have a longer shelf life, look more attractive, taste better and ensure a good binding. In short, they improve the properties of foods. The additives are in almost all of your daily foods, especially packaged foods. For example, they ensure that your meat products do not turn brown and that the yogurt or quark in your fridge does not turn into watery substance. Because let's face it, that doesn't look tasty, does it? Even in organic food production, additives are used to a limited extent.

Functional ingredients


Although the often chemical names suggest otherwise, most of the additives are extracted from nature. Two thirds of the additives in your diet come from vegetable, mineral or animal sources. Although in recent years there has been regular criticism of the use of functional ingredients, this is unfounded. This is because additives are not harmful to your health.


An extensive research process takes place prior to the allocation of an E number to an additive. The EFSA (the European food safety authority) controls the products. The European Union has very strict rules regarding E numbers. The law describes exactly when the additives may be used and in what quantity. Functional ingredients that occur naturally in products, such as potato starch, are not assigned an E number.


Functional ingredients can be divided into different groups. For example, there are preservatives, antioxidants and food acids. But sweeteners, flavor enhancers and acidity regulators also belong to the E numbers. You can find out what the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) per additive is on the ESFA website. At Natural Spices you will find a very wide range of additives that you can easily buy online. The additives can be ordered in different pack sizes.