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What Are the Benefits of Food Additives?

For centuries, food manufacturers have included organic or chemical compounds known as additives to their products. There are several benefits of food additives, including extended shelf life and improved taste, appearance and texture. Foods also can be fortified or enriched with certain substances to help consumers achieve better nutrition. While these additives generally enhance the final product, some of the compounds have been found to be harmful to humans, and many governments now regulate the amount and types of substances that are added to processed foods. In response to these concerns, many food manufacturers now offer brands with fewer preservatives and other additives for consumers who are concerned about long-term health risks.

One of the major benefits of food additives is longer shelf life. For centuries, humans have used salt and other naturally occurring substances to help preserve meat and other foods. Newer, chemically derived preservatives can keep food fresh and ready to eat for extra months or years. This longer shelf life helps stores by allowing them to keep stock on the shelf longer and limiting the amount of waste from spoiled, unsold food. Preservatives also help the consumer by keeping food costs lower and slowing the growth of harmful bacteria.

In addition to keeping consumers safer from food-borne illnesses, food additives also can improve the flavor of the product. Manufacturers may add acids, flavor enhancers and sweeteners to their foods to make the taste more appealing to the consumer. Many processes that extend shelf life, such as canning, dehydrating or freezing, also can rob food of its natural flavor. Without these enhancements, many processed foods would be bland and unappetizing.

As with flavor, texture and appearance also can be affected by the manufacturing processes. Another of the benefits of food additives is improved look and feel of the final product. Stabilizers and thickeners are substances added to processed foods to help them retain their proper consistency. Coloring, glazing agents and color retention agents assist manufacturers in delivering products that appear appetizing and nutritious to the consumer. With these additives, heavily processed foods can end up looking and feeling like the fresh version of the product.

In addition to substances that preserve and enhance a food product, there are some compounds that are added to food for health reasons. Fortified and enriched foods may have added fiber, vitamins or minerals to help consumers maintain a healthy diet. This is one of the most important benefits of food additives for populations that may have deficiencies in their diet. Fortified foods also can help picky eaters, such as children, get more nutrition.


There is a direct link between animal and human health. The food ingested by livestock has a massive impact on the quality of meat and byproducts produced. All livestock requires a certain balance of water, minerals, vitamins, and proteins to maintain basic health requirements and fuel growth. Feed additives are a safe, healthy way to invest in the wellbeing of livestock while enhancing their nutritional intake.

Safe and Beneficial

Livestock farmers can avoid common and sometimes serious livestock health risks by using certain additives. Conditions such as weight loss, natural abortions, infections, sickness, and disease can all be controlled and prevented by using the right feed additives.

Benefits of Feed Additives

1.Medicated. Some additives may contain antibiotics or other drugs that help livestock farmers to reduce the chances of their livestock becoming diseased, sick, and infected. It can also aid in growth and weight gain.

2.Minerals. Minerals play a pivotal role in the health of livestock and can improve weaning and conception rates, immune system response, and overall health. All of these benefits add up to a more valuable livestock investment.

3.Protein. Protein additives are especially popular in the cattle and beef industry. Blocks, tubs, and liquid forms of protein are all available to livestock farmers. It’s not always necessary to add protein to a livestock diet, so it’s a good idea to test and measure levels of protein intake before making a decision.

4.Pest Control. Pests are an ever-present nuisance for livestock farmers. They’re hardy, they breed quickly, and they spread throughout feed within days. Some additives can help to stop the lifecycle of certain pests by eliminating favorable breeding conditions.

5.Improving Nutritional Intake

Healthy livestock should be consuming nutrients on a daily basis that promote growth, reproduction, and quality. Livestock farmers can find the optimal nutrient balance based on the type of livestock, the age, size, physical condition, and daily activity.Providing access to proper nutrition is especially important for pregnant, young, and sickly livestock. Amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, and proteins are just a few of the nutrients, the most livestock require on a daily basis. Feed additives offer a simple way for livestock farmers to provide the right balance of daily nutrition that helps to promote wellness and quality.

Types of Additives

There are eight categories of feed additives that livestock farmers typically use.






-Amino Acids



In addition to these eight categories, additives such as sweeteners, flavors, mycotoxin binders, and protected amino acids are also commonly used. In some cases, additives can be used in combination to combat weakened immunity, slow growth rates, and weight loss.

Additional Benefits

While feed additives are most commonly referred to within their designated categories, all feed additives are divided into four main types.

1.Nutritional Additives. These additives supply nutrients that are missing in the natural diet of livestock.

2.Sensory Additives. Sensory additives often come in the form of flavored supplements and help to increase appetite.

3.Antibiotic Additives. These are used to fight infections, diseases, and sickness. Some livestock farmers use antibiotic additives to also promote growth.

4.Zootechnical Additives. Zootechnical additives help to boost the overall nutritional value of livestock diets.

Feed additives can help to improve the value of livestock by overcoming deficiencies, nutrient problems, and performance issues. Trouble in digesting feed, lack of appetite, troubled pregnancies, and weak bone structure can all be resolved. Additives are meant to improve the quality of feed so that livestock farmers can see improved animal performance and health.

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