What They Do: When applied to the external surface of a food, impart a shiny appearance or provides a protective coating.
These are all unnatural, laboratory created ingredients, that often replace high quality ingredients, or replace longer processes to achieve the same effect. They also are used to make some foods shiny that should not be shiny.
The home cook can achieve many of these kinds of end results with the techniques they use. Some of these are time consuming, but if desired, can be done at home, using real ingredients. For those items that should not be shiny, then they should stay that way. The food is not better for you if it is shiny, it is an aesthetic, visual illusion.
Click underlined ingredients to learn more, and find out more about what each item does in specific types of foods.
How it may be described on a label:
- Coating agent
- Film forming agent
- Glazing agent
- Polishing agent
- Sealing agent
- Surface-finishing agent
Examples of glazing & polishing agents:
- Sodium phosphate