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Anticaking Agents

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Anticaking agents are food additives that keep powders or granulated materials such as milk powder, powdered sugar, tea and coffee powders used in vending machines, table salt etc. flowing freely. Anti caking agents, in fact, prevent the formation of lumps making these products manageable for packaging, transport, and for use by end consumer.

Definition of Anticaking Agents

Anticaking Agent is the food additive that prevents agglomeration in certain solids, permitting a free-flowing condition. Anticaking agents consist of such substances as starch, magnesium carbonate, and silica and are added to fine-particle solids, such as food products like table salt, flours, coffee, and sugar.

Examples of Anti Caking Agents Food

Some of the common examples of foods that contain anti-caking agents include: Anti caking agents are also one of the most common flour treatment agents

Functions of Anticaking Agents

Anticaking Agents
Anticaking Agents in Salt
Anticaking agents function either by adsorbing excess moisture, or by coating particles and making them water repellent. Some anticaking agents are soluble in water; others are soluble in alcohols or other organic solvents. Calcium silicate (CaSiO3), a common anti-caking agent which is added to table salt etc. adsorbs both water and oil. Although they are food additives, anti caking agents have other applications too. For example, anticaking agents are popularly used in non-food items like road salt, fertilizers, cosmetics, synthetic detergents, and in other such manufacturing applications.

Manufactured and Natural Anticaking Agents

There are two types of anti caking agents- manufactured or man-made and natural anticaking agents. Most of the anti-caking agents are made from synthetic substances such as silicon dioxide or magnesium and calcium stearates (solid saturated fatty acids.) However, there are many ani caking agents that come from natural sources. Some of the natural anticaking agents include kaolin (E559; talc (E553b); and bentonite. Some anti caking agents manufacturers also produce organic and hypoallergenic anti caking agents from such natural source as rice.

Man made anticaking agents are manufactured from chemicals and other artificial substances like silicates, acids etc. Examples of manufactured anti-caking agents include calcium silicate (E552), magnesium carbonate (E504) and sodium aluminosilicate (E554) etc. Majority of anti-caking agents are found with E numbers from 500 to 599. However, apart from the list of E numbers anti caking agents, there are a few that fall into other categories too like the acidity regulators (because they serve two purposes.) Some of such anti caking agents having dual/ multiple purposes include:

List of Anti Caking Agents E numbers

Following is the list of anti-caking agents commonly used in foods and drinks. Based on the above information on anti caking agents, it can be stated that they are becoming more and more popular with processed food packaging that might let moisture in and form lumps. These anticaking agents keep the food item flowing freely till the time end user want it to be.

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