Generally speaking, a food additive is any substance added to food. According to the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this term refers to "any substance the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result (directly or indirectly) in its becoming a component or otherwise affecting the characteristics of food." This complex set of regulations includes guidance for all food contact substance (FCS) used in the production, processing, treatment, packaging and transportation or storage of food. The rules are in place to ensure that elements that directly or indirectly coming in contact with our food are safe for humans.  

Under the umbrella of food additives, let’s start with direct food additives, or a substance that is added to food for a specific purpose in that food, including:

  • Preservatives (sodium nitrite, ascorbic acid, calcium sorbate antioxidants, BHA, BHT)
  • Color additives (turmeric, saffron, paprika, iron oxides, copper sulfate, fruit juices)
  • Flavors and spices (seasonings, sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, artificial and natural flavors)
  • Flavor enhancers (MSG, yeast)
  • Emulsifiers (soy lecithin, mono/diglycerides)
  • Stabilizers/thickeners (guar gum, gelatin, whey, carrageenan)
  • Nutritional supplements (vitamins, iodine, calcium, iron, dietary fiber)
  • Leavening agents (baking powder, yeast, baking soda)

A direct application is defined when the product being used comes in contact with the food itself. Examples of direct food contact products would include those used for cleaning or lubricating a conveyor belt in a vegetable or meat processing plant.

Slide’s food-grade and NSF-certified line of mold and mold release agents are not intended for this purpose and fall under USA government regulations for indirect food contact products. These indirect food additives are those which may inadvertently become part of the food due to its manufacturing packaging or handling. Included are those products found in the molding of food packing and food related plastic items, such as molders that manufacture plastic forks, cups, Tupperware® or other such components. 

All of Slide’s “food-grade” and NSF certified formulations are rated and recommended ONLY for indirect food contact applications. 

Slide is always available to assist with any questions that may come up regarding food-grade compliance. Our reps bring their decades of experience to help solve your manufacturing issues. We offer free trial samples of our products and would be happy to consult with you on individual requirements and applications. You can contact us on our website, through a local distributor, or by phone at 1-800-323-6433. 

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