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The use of ascorbic acid as a food additive: technical-legal issues

Michele Varvara, Giancarlo Bozzo, Giuseppe Celano, Chiara Disanto, Cosimo Nicola Pagliarone, Gaetano Vitale Celano
  • Michele Varvara
    Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Valenzano (BA), Italy
  • Giancarlo Bozzo
    Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Valenzano (BA), Italy
  • Giuseppe Celano
    Department of Soil, Plant and Food Science, University of Bari, Italy
  • Chiara Disanto
    Mediterranean and Food C.Q.S. Srl, Valenzano (BA), Italy
  • Cosimo Nicola Pagliarone
    Mediterranean and Food C.Q.S. Srl, Valenzano (BA), Italy

Abstract

Ascorbic acid (C6H8O6) is an organic compound belonging to the family of monosaccharide. It is highly soluble in water, and is often called one of the secrets of the Mediterranean diet. Its use is widespread in the food industry is also important, having always been exploited for its antioxidant and stabilising ability. Many indeed are the additive formulations that take advantage of these properties. The purpose of this paper is to explain the characteristics that make ascorbic acid an important food additive and to emphasise the technical and legal issues related to its use in food productions. In particular, in the course of this employment, laws and scientific studies have been applied to the resolution of a lawsuit, having as its object the use of ascorbic acid in preparations of ground beef sold at a butcher shop. The views expressed in court by the technical consultant have led to the acquittal of the accused, in the light of the demonstrated and proven non-toxicity of the molecule and the use of a mixture of additives for the production of sausage. The European and national legislations, supported by numerous scientific studies, define the possible use of ascorbic acid according to the principle of quantum satis, and it can be used in foods for children. Our work aims to represent further evidence of the safety of use of ascorbic acid as a food additive, and – as confirmed by the legal decision reported – it wants to bring out the prospects for use of ascorbic acid for technological purposes even by registered establishments.

Keywords

Ascorbic acid; Food additive; Technical-legal issues

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Submitted: 2014-06-03 11:36:16
Published: 2016-02-05 14:07:29
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Copyright (c) 2016 Michele Varvara, Giancarlo Bozzo, Giuseppe Celano, Chiara Disanto, Cosimo Nicola Pagliarone, Gaetano Vitale Celano

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