Anticaking agents are substances used in food industry to prevent the formation of lumps and clumps in powders, granules or other dry food ingredients. Here are some basic things to know about anticaking agents in food industry:
- Purpose: The main purpose of using anticaking agents is to improve the flow properties and handling of dry food ingredients, making it easier to process, package and use the ingredients in recipes.
- Types: Anticaking agents can be classified into several categories, including mineral salts, silicates, fatty acids and waxes, among others.
- Addition rate: The addition rate of anticaking agents is usually very small, ranging from 0.1% to 1% of the total weight of the food ingredient.
- Labeling: Anticaking agents must be declared on the ingredient list of the food product. The names of common anticaking agents include calcium silicate, magnesium stearate, sodium aluminosilicate, among others.
- Safety: Anticaking agents are generally considered safe for human consumption, but their use is regulated by various governmental agencies, such as the FDA in the United States or the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
- Alternatives: There are alternative options to using anticaking agents, such as using ingredients with a finer particle size or reducing the moisture content of the food ingredient. However, these options may not be practical or feasible in all cases, and anticaking agents may still be needed to ensure proper flow and handling of the dry food ingredients.