What are Preservatives?

By Susan Brewer, Ph.D.
University of Illinois, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

“Preservatives” are ingredients or substances which prolong the shelf-life, either microbiologically or qualitatively, by slowing growth of bacteria, molds, or yeasts or by preventing deterioration that affects the quality (flavor, color, texture) of food products.  Many of our most common “ingredients” perform a preservative function:  salt, sugar, vinegar, and lemon juice (vitamin C).
FDA.gov…U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Antimicrobial Food Additives


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