Food ingredients, including food additives, are as varied in their source as they are in function. Some food additives come from mineral sources that contain phosphorus compounds, which can be used to help foods retain moisture. Other additives come from plant sources like seaweed and kelp, which naturally produce compounds that can be used in the thickening of foods and to maintain texture.
Another source of food ingredients are microbiological substances (e.g., probiotics), which are added to foods to improve digestive health. Ingredients may also come from crops like corn or from foods that would otherwise be wasted like the rinds of citrus fruits.
Many ingredients come from sustainable sources that provide benefits to the countless farmers worldwide that grow and harvest the sources of food ingredients. In other cases, ingredients may be derived from organic chemical sources like hydrocarbons. Here are some common additives along with their sources — click the descriptions below to learn more.