A Guide to Food Additives - G

A Guide to Food Additives - G

Name Other Names Purpose Sourced


Several tropical rhizomatous spices

Used in traditional Asian cuisines, Polish Gorzka vodka, similar in flavor to ginger

Various group of plants found in China and South East Asia

Gallic acid


Trihydroxybenzoic acid

Anti-oxidant used in tea formulation

Produced by breakdown of tannins, found in several fruits & vegetables, chocolate, walnuts, hops, apples, teas & flax



E308, Vitamin E

Anti-oxidant in fatty acid and prevent rancidity, low vitamin E accessibility, reduce rancidity in oils(eg. olive oil), vitamin E fortification

Extracted from vegetable oils such as soybean oil

Garam masala

Combination of spices such as fennel, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, mace, cardamom, cumin & coriander

Used to add spiciness to Indian cuisine

Various spices


gar(spear shaped)-leek

Pungent plant used as a seasoning herb, condiment or spice in food recipes all over the globe, garlic oil

Native plant Allium sativum to central Asia and Iran


Gelatine("stiff" or "frozen")

Used to make gels, jelly, desserts, trifles, aspic, marshmellows, candy corn, confections, gummy bears, as a thickener in yogurt, cream cheese & margarine, low fat foods, dumplings, soups, calarifying juices, fining agent for wine & beer

Derived from collagen of animals

Gellan gum

E418, gum gellan

Water soluble polysaccharide vegan thickener, emulsifier & stabilizer used to make plant-based milk, vegan gummies, gelling agent, molecular gastronomy, ice-cream and sorbet, alternative to gelatin

Bacterial fermentation in a lily plant tissue


Ginger root, ginger rhizome

Peeled and used for spicing meals, candy, soda, pickles, alcoholic drinks, fragrant, snacks, ginger wine, candy, ethnic cuisines, powdered for flavoring, bread, cookies, ale, beer and crackers

Plant originating from southern India, now produced in Nigeria, China, Indonesia, Nepal & Thialand


"human root"

Used in energy drinks, herbal teas, ethnic dishes & soups, alcoholic beverages and liquor

US FDA states ginseng "products are not generally recognized as safe and effective for referenced uses"

Plant grown globally

Glacial Acetic acid


Pure(100%) acetic acid

Rarely used, in acidification and flavoring canned fruits, vegetables sausages and salad dressings


Produced by bacteria found in water, soil, fruits, and food spoil



E420, Sorbitol

Sugar substitute, low calorie, 60% as sweet as sugar, used in drinks, ice-creams, mints, cough syrups, chewing gums, fermented by bacteria in mouth

Found in stone fruits and berries of genus Sorbus



E574, Gluconic acid, D-gluconic acid, Dextronic acid

Metal sequestrant used in fruit juices and jelly mixes

Synthesized, Found in fruit honey and wine

Glucono delta-lactone


E575, GDL

Acidifier, pickling, curing & leavening agent, white crystalline powder, used in feta cheese, adding tangy to foods, adding to water produces gluconic acid

Synthesized by bacterial fermentation of sugar

Glucose oxidase

E1102, Notatin, GOD, GOx

Preservative and oxidizing agent, creating stronger dough, reducing oxygen in food packaging, preventing browning of eggs

Produced by certain fungi and insects

Glucose syrup


Confectioner's glucose

Thickener, sweetener & moisture retaining agent used in candies, soft drinks and fruit drinks

Hydrolyzing starch extracted from maize



E620, Glutamic acid

Flavor enhancer tasteable in unbound form used in cheeses, soy sauce, sodium salt known as monosodium glutamate(MSG)

Found in meats, fish, eggs, dairy, wheat protein



Group of proteins adds elasticity and chewyness to breads, pizza, bagels, high in bread flowers, lower in pastry products, used in imitation meats for protein fortificaion, making soy sauce & beer, stabilizer in ice-cream and ketchup,

Occurs in endosperm of cereal grains



E422, Glycerol, glycerine, propanetriol

Colorless, odorless & sweet liquid used as solvent, humectant and sweetener in foods, thicken liqueurs, softening icing and drinks

Extracted from plants, soybeans & palm, and animals, tallow

Glycerol ester of wood rosin

E445, ester gum, glyceryl abietate

Oil soluble, water-insoluble yellow solid used in producing chewing-gum, oil infused beverages and ice-cream to suspend oil in water

Synthesized from esterification of wood rosin and glycerin

Glyceryl monostearate



White, odorless and sweet flaky powder emulsifier, thickener and preservative in foods such as ice-cream, bread and whipped cream

Synthesized by reacting triglycerides(animal or vegetable fat) and glycerol



E640, Gly

Used as a nutrient for yeast in bread to enhance bread, sweet flavoring agent

Produced using gelatin extracted from animal bones




Gold leaf or dust used in gourmet foods, sweets, cocktails and drinks as decoration,

Found embedded in various rock formations

Grains of paradise

Aframomum melegueta, alligator pepper, Guinea grains, fom wisa

Spice used in west & north Africa, black pepper substitute, gourmet cuisines, craft beer, gins, condiment, sews, apple pies and liquors

Part of ginger family Zingiberaceae

Grape seed oil

grapeseed oil, grape oil

421F smoke point, used in salad dressing, mayonnaise, garlic oil infusion, spiced oils, baked foods, pancakes and waffles

Pressed from grape seeds, by-product of winemaking

Green S


E142, Food Green S

Coloring desserts, mints, gravy granules, confection, ice-cream and green canned vegetables

Banned in USA, Canada, Japan, Canada & Norway, approved in EU, New Zealand & Australia.

Synthetic green dye

Green Tea

Leaves used to make tea, beverages and select products as flavoring agent

Obtained from Camellia sinensis leaves

Guanylic acid

E626, Guanosine monophosphate, GMP

Used as a flavor enhancer in in noodles, potato chips, snacks, rice, tinned vegetables, cured meats, soup mixes

Part of RNA, made from yeast extract or sardines

Guar gum


E412, Guaran

Increases dough yield and thickness in baked goods, thickening milk, yogurt, ice-cream, sherbets, plant milks and liquid cheeses, binding meats, stability of condiments, thickening canned & dried soups

Exracted from guar beans grown in India, Pakistan, USA, Australia & Africa



Caffeine, methyltheobromine

Stimulant, cognitive & physical performance booster

Extracted from coffee beans from coffee fruit

Gum arabic


E414, Gum acacia, acacia gum, gum sudani, Indian gum

Stabilizer, emulsifier & thickening agent in candy, icings, chewing gum, soft drinks, syrups, cocktails, fermented in colon as a prebiotic

Extracted from Acacia senegal cultivated and found in Arabia, parts of Africa and West Asia

Gum guaicum

E241, E314, guaiac resin

Used as an antioxidant and preservative in several products

Resin produced from tree Guaiacum officinal