Preservatives are the substances which either develop naturally or they are synthetically produced with an intention to preserve food items from contamination or to save from chemical changes. In a food product, a preservative is used to stop or to greatly slow down the process of microbial growth to retain its hygiene and taste.
Preservatives have been categorized into class I and class II:
Class I – Those which we obtain naturally – Common salt, Sugar, Dextrose, Spices, Vinegar, honey, edible vegetable oils.
Class II – Benzoic Acid & its salts, Sulfurous Acids & its salts, Nitrates or Nitrates of Sodium or potassium used in foods like ham, pickled meat.
Preservatives are used to increase the shelf life of a food product while retaining its nutritional value. Depending upon the purpose of their usage in the food products, preservatives can be further categorized into antimicrobial, Anti-oxidant or Anti-enzymatic agents.
Some common antimicrobial preservatives include benzoic acids, calcium propionate, sodium nitrate. Some common food products where preservatives are largely being used are: cheese, margarine, bakery products, soft drinks & dried fruit preparations etc.
In harmony with the international laws pertaining to use of preservatives, the FSSAI has specified guidelines for permissible limits of preservatives in a food product. A Food product’s analysis is required during the manufacturing period and on after becoming a finished product to monitor the permissible limits. The excessive use of preservatives could lead to health problems.
In compliance with the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards & Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, we provide services to the FBOs. Our laboratory has the latest instruments & technology to analyze preservatives in food products. We also provide consultation on labelling requirements concerning preservatives for package food products.
Our other services include: Food Microbiology testing, Nutritional & labelling, Allergens, Food Additives, Residues/Chemical Contaminants, Shelf Life Studies, Sensory Evaluation.