Some of the most common names of food preservatives found on product labels include: ascorbic acid, citric acid, sodium benzoate, calcium propionate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, calcium sorbate, potassium sorbate, BHA, BHT, EDTA, and tocopherols (Vitamin E).
Food preservatives prevent food spoilage from bacteria, molds, fungi, or yeast (antimicrobials); slow or prevent changes in color, flavor, or texture and delay rancidity (antioxidants); maintain freshness.
Food preservatives are used for fruit sauces and jellies, beverages, baked goods, cured meats, oils and margarines, cereals, dressings, snack foods, fruits and vegetables.
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Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) fda.gov/Food 5100 Paint Branch Parkway College Park, MD 20740-3835
Color Additives Information fda.gov Color Additives
Toll free information line: 1-888-SAFEFOOD (723-3366)
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service fsis.usda.gov Food Safety Education Staff 1400 Independence Ave., SW Room 2932-S
Washington, DC 20250-3700
Food Additives Information usda.gov Fact Sheets on Additives
Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-800-535-4555
Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC)
USDA Ag Research Service
10301 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) IFIC
1100 Connecticut Ave., NW Suite 430
Washington, DC 20036
American Dietetic Association (ADA) ADA
216 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60606-6995
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) FAAN
11781 Lee Jackson Hwy. Suite 160 Fairfax, VA 22033 1-800-929-4040
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) IFT
525 West Van Buren
Chicago, IL 60607