A Guide to Food Additives - F

A Guide to Food Additives - F

Name Other Names Purpose Source

False Flax

Camelina sativa, camelina, false flax

Edible seeds sprinkled on salads, making egg substitute, extracting camelina oil(resistant to oxidation and rancidity)

Plant cultivated in Europe & Americas

Fast green FCF


E143, Food Green 3, Green 1724

Green food dye, poorly absorbed in intestines, used in tinned peas, vegetables, jellies, sauces, bakery mixes, fish & desserts.

Allowed in USA. Not approved in European Union & other countries



Lipids, oils

Various types of fats are added to foods as ingredients as they also serve as an essential nutrient

Isolated from eggs




Golden yellow food pigment used rarely in confectionary

Not approved in USA or EU. Approved in Australia & new Zealand.

Present in several plants, commercially made using buttercup


Florence fennel, finocchio

Bulb, leaves and fruits used in foods across the globe, bulb can cooked or used as garnish, soups & salads, leaves used in ethnic cuisines, fruits used in sausage, pickling, teas, fruit used as licorice powder & sweetener

Native to the Mediterranean but grown all over the world


"Greek hay"

Ingredient in ethnic cuisines including leaves and seeds to make curries, stews, pita bread, relish and soups, also used in maple syrup & caramel in low concentration, flavoring agent in teas

Fenugreek plant found mainly in India

Ferric ammonium citrate



Acidity regulator in soft drinks such as Irn-Bru, water purification, infant foods, salt and supplement

Synthetic, mixture of ammonia, iron and citric acid

Ferrous gluconate


E579, Iron (II) gluconate, I

Adds uniform black color to black olives, iron fortification in foods

ron(II) salt of gluconic acid, occurs in fruit, honey and wine

Ferrous lactate


E585, Iron(II) lactate

Iron fortification, color retention agent, acidity regulator

Iron salt of lactic acid, found in dairy products and in our own body

Filé powder

Gumbo filé

Powder used to make gumbo(soup/stew), thickening agent, seasoning and earthy flavoring agent


Spicy herb made from dried and ground leaves of sassafras tree, found in North America

Five Spice powder

Combination of star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel seeds

Used to season chicken, duck, pork and seafood and various stews and Asian cuisines

Occurs in fruit and fermented foods, produced by yeast fermentation of glucose

Formic acid


E236, methanoic acid

Preservative and antibacterial agent, strong smell, used rarely in beverages, confectionery, baked goods and icecream

Preset in ants, fruits(berries), honey and nettles, synthesized commercially



Fruit sugar, levulose, D-fructose

Water soluble, used as a commercial sweetener and source of nutrient in several food products

Commercially derived from sugar cane, beets and maize, found in fruits, flowers, honey and root vegetables

Fumaric acid



Fruit-like acid and stabilizing agent, acid in baking powder, used in beverages, making tortillas as preservatives, 'salt and vinegar' potato chips, coagulant in pudding mixes

Synthesized, found in bolete mushrooms, lichen and Iceland moss