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Course: BSAA

Unit: Food Science

Lesson: Food Additives
Lesson Type: Problem Solving
Upon completion of this lesson, students should be able to:
1. Understand vocabulary terms
2. Explain why food additives are important
Illinois State Learning Standards:
Next Generation Science Standards:
AFNR Career Cluster Content Standards:
Materials and Technology:
Lesson Plan: Food Additives
PPT: Ag Ed drive BSAA Food Additives
Vocabulary Key
Vocab Sticks


Air-blast freezing: uses high speed air and cold temperatures to freeze the product.
Antioxidants: help to prevent oxidation of the animal fat
Blanching: a heat treatment used with vegetables where their temperature is raised to between
180 and 190 and followed by rapid cooling
Chemical drying: uses a chemical substance to remove moisture from the food
Commercial sterilization: the complete destruction of all microorganisms
except some spores
Conduction: a method of heating in which energy moves from one particle to another through
direct contact
Convection: a method of heating that involves the movement of a heated air or liquid through
the food being heated
Drying: involves removing the moisture from a food product
Fermentation: The action of certain bacteria and yeasts in decomposing carbohydrates
Flavor enhancer: Additives that have either no flavor or little flavor, but can improve the flavor
of a food
Food additives: non-nutritive substances that are added to foods in small quantities to improve
flavor, texture, appearance, or shelf life
Food preservation: the treatment of food to keep it from spoiling
Food spoilage: the condition in which food becomes unsafe to eat
Freeze drying: involves freezing the food product then placing it in a chamber where all air and
moisture are removed
Freezing: the storage of food products at temperatures where water contained in the products
becomes ice
Irradiation: the exposure of food to gamma rays generated by a radioactive material
Liquid freezing: involves spraying fluid refrigerants such as liquid nitrogen on individual food
products as they move down a conveyor belt
Mechanical drying: uses a machine to remove the moisture in the food product
Pasteurization: a heat treatment that destroys all pathogenic microorganisms, but not organisms
that cause spoilage
Pickling: When the fermentation process is combined with salting
Plate freezing: uses the surface of metal plates to sandwich the food product to be frozen
Radiation: a form of conduction in which heat energy is transferred through the electromagnetic
Refrigeration: the storage of foods at a temperature below room temperature, but above freezing
Senescence: terminal, irreversible, deteriorative change in living organisms, leading to cellular
and tissue breakdown and eventually death
Sequestrants: prevent the metal ions from oxidizing with fatty acids resulting in off-flavors
Sterilization: the complete destruction of all microorganisms
Texture enhancer: not only improve the texture of a food, but they also improve water retention

There are 5 students in the AGED 439 classroom at Western Illinois University with no
known IEP students. The last lessons given in this class were about pasteurization, liquid
rheology, and solid rheology. In those lessons, the students learned the terms associated with
pasteurization and how rheology affects the liquid and solid products that we consume. In this
lesson, the students will be learning about food additives.
Review: (5 minutes)
Lets go back to Tuesday when you learned about pasteurization and rheology.
1. Tell me what pasteurization is:
a. Heating a substance to kill the bacteria in products like milk
2. What is liquid rheology?
a. The science that studies the deformation of a substance or the flow of a liquid
3. What was the lesson to be learned with our strawberry lab?
a. Need to be careful when handling produce so that it doesnt get to the
consumer bruised

Interest Approach: (5 minutes)

After the review, students will be asked to read a few different food labels that will be
projected on the smartboard. I will first ask if anyone knows what is in these two items before
showing the slides.
1. Slide #3 = Reeses Pieces label
2. Slide #4 = Ranch Dressing label
Be sure to discuss how we cant pronounce many of the things in our processed foods.
How do we feel about that? Do we know anything about these additives? Why do we
need them?
Procedure: (45 minutes)
In this lesson, students will first be instructed in learning vocabulary. To do this, I will
have students (one at a time) draw a stick with a vocabulary term on it. The student will then
identify which definition matches the term that was drawn. There are 3 slides of vocabulary
terms; each slide is a different color to match with the color of the stick in order to narrow down
the options.
As students guess the correct answers, I will write in the term next to the definition so
that students can see they definition with the term. With each definition, we will discuss
examples of each definition and reasons why we use these products.
1. Slide #5 = Green
a. Flavor enhancer
i. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is derived from seaweed. It has very
little taste, but can be used quite effectively as a flavor enhancer.
ii. Natural or synthetic substances that are used to boost a flavor or regain
a flavor that was lost during processing are called flavoring agents.
Oils, oleoresins, and extracts are examples of flavoring agents.
b. Blanching

i. This process does not destroy microorganisms. It does inactivate

enzymes that might alter the taste or color of the vegetable.
c. Food Spoilage
i. Food spoilage can be caused by the invasion of bacteria, fungi, mold,
and other foreign materials.
d. Mechanical Drying
i. Think of a grain bin!
e. Pasteurization
i. A pathogenic organism inflicts illness in humans.
ii. What do we know about pasteurization? Draw from Dustis lesson.
f. Freezing
i. When a food is frozen, it is the water in the food that freezes. There are
three main methods of freezing used in commercial food preservation.
g. Plate Freezing
i. As the food and plates contact each other, fluid that circulates in the
plate removes heat and freezes the product.
h. Air-Blast Freezing
i. Air is the freezing medium in this method.
i. Irradiation
i. Gamma Rays have no charge. They are used to destroy enzymes or
microorganisms in the food product.
ii. Food that has been irradiated does not mean that it is radioactive.
2. Slide #6 = Blue
a. Drying
i. When moisture is removed, most of the substances that lead to
spoilage are also removed.
ii. Preservation by drying succeeds because decay-causing organisms
usually do not grow at moisture contents below 10-15%.
Microorganisms need water for growth and survival.
b. Food Additives
i. Additives are used to keep food from spoiling. Substances which are
not intentionally added to foods are called food contaminants.
ii. Food additives are chemicals added to a food product to increase its
length of usefulness. The chemicals used are not dangerous. Instead,
they prolong the useful life of the food by slowing the natural
deterioration process.
iii. Why use food additives?
1. Food additives can be used for a variety of reasons: Improve
the quality of the food, Reduce the amount of waste, Maintain
or improve the nutritional value of the food, Improve the shelf
life, Increase consumer acceptance, Increase the availability of
foods, Make food preparation easier
c. Radiation

i. The electromagnetic spectrum is a linear arrangement of all known

forms of energy. In radiation, energy from the infrared and ultraviolet
range of the spectrum are used to heat the food.
ii. An example is the infrared radiation lamps used in restaurant buffets to
keep food warm.
d. Chemical Drying
i. Salt is the most common chemical used in chemical drying.
e. Antioxidants
i. Processed meat products can contain butylated hydroxyl toluene
(BHT) or butylated hydroxyl anisole (BHA). These antioxidants help
to prevent oxidation of the animal fat.
ii. Oxidation refers to combining with oxygen. We dont want this
because it causes meat to turn a brownish color.
f. Senescence
i. Senescence is the period following ripening, during which growth
ceases and aging processes replace ripening processes.
g. Conduction
i. Conduction may be compared to a chain reaction. As each particle of
food is heated, it passes energy on to other particles it is touching.
ii. Examples of foods that are preserved through conduction heating
include canned tuna or ham.
h. Liquid Freezing
i. This method is commonly used on meat patties.
ii. They also do this with ice cream! Tell story about old ice cream place
in Nauvoo.
i. Pickling
i. Pickling may be accomplished without the direct use of
microorganisms by placing food in organic acids (vinegar or citric
3. Slide #7 = Red
a. Food Preservation
i. It also aids in retaining nutrients and improving taste.
b. Sequestrants
i. Many foods contain a variety of metals which are naturally present.
Sequestrants are additives that combine with these metals helping to
inactivate the metal.
ii. Sequestrants prevent the metal ions from oxidizing with fatty acids
resulting in offflavors. Malic acid, tartaric acid and citric acid are
examples of sequestrants.
iii. They are also antioxidants. They can prevent oxidative rancidity from
c. Freeze Drying
d. Fermentation

i. Fermentation can take place under either of two conditions: aerobic

fermentation takes place with air present and anaerobic fermentation
takes place without the presence of air
e. Commercial Sterilization
i. Commercially sterilized foods will eventually become unsuitable to
eat. They will not cause sickness. Instead, they become unpalatable.
f. Convection
i. This is the same type of heat used in a kitchen oven. In convection
heating, the movement of the heated air or fluid around the food
causes it to be heated.
ii. Examples of foods that are preserved through convection heating are
canned soups.
g. Texture Enhancer
i. Polyols are an example of a texture enhancer. Texture enhancers not
only improve the texture of a food, but they also improve water
retention. Glycerine, mannitol, propylene glycol, and sorbitol are
examples of polyols. These are found in diet drinks, gum, candy, and
ice cream.
h. Sterilization
i. Sterilized foods will last a very long time. Because they have
undergone a high level of heat treatment, sterilized foods go through
significant alterations.
i. Refrigeration
i. It is used as a transitional environment. A transitional environment
means that the food product will ultimately be heated or consumed. It
will not stay refrigerated forever.
4. After discussing all of the vocabulary terms, we will start to discuss food additives as
a whole. Slides #8-9
a. Categories of food additives:
i. Antioxidants, pickling agents, drying agents, flavor enhancers,
sequestrants, texturizers, etc.
b. FDA guidelines.
i. Agree with all of them? Are they good rules?
5. Food preservatives: Slide #10
a. Is food preservation important? Should we stop using food preservatives?

Closure: (5 minutes)
As a class, we will take a few minutes to discuss the topics learned.
1. Food Additives
2. Food Preservation


The students assessment will be the review questions at the end of the lesson. Students will also
be asked questions throughout the lesson. The students will not be formally assessed over this
information, unless the classroom teacher decides to do so.