Tuesday 24 October 2023




Additives and addictive substances are two distinct categories in the realm of chemistry and substances that have significant impacts on various aspects of human life.

Additives: Additives refer to substances added to products for specific purposes, primarily in the food, pharmaceutical, and industrial sectors. These substances serve diverse functions, such as enhancing taste, color, texture, and shelf life of food products. In pharmaceuticals, additives can influence drug absorption and stability. Similarly, in industrial applications, additives are used to modify properties like viscosity and curing time of materials. Additives undergo rigorous testing and regulation to ensure they are safe for consumption or use. Regulatory bodies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), set guidelines to limit the quantities and types of additives used in various products.

Addictive Substances: Addictive substances, on the other hand, are chemicals or compounds that can lead to physical and psychological dependency when consumed. These substances alter brain chemistry, leading to cravings and compulsive behaviors. Common addictive substances include drugs like nicotine, alcohol, and illegal drugs such as cocaine and opioids. Addiction to these substances can have severe consequences, affecting not only the individual's health but also their relationships, work, and overall quality of life. Treating addiction often involves a combination of medical intervention, therapy, and support systems to help individuals overcome their dependency.

In summary, additives are intentional substances added to products for specific purposes, while addictive substances are chemicals that can lead to harmful dependencies. Understanding the distinctions between these categories is crucial for maintaining both personal health and the safety and quality of products consumed by the public.


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1. Preserved fruit jam and pickled fruits are two common foods.

     a. (i)  Name a natural food additive present in preserved fruit jam. [1]

         (ii) State two functions of the food additive named in (i). [2]

     b. (i) Name two natural food additives present in pickled fruits. [2]

        (ii) Briefly explain how one of these food additives serve the functions answered in a (ii). [2]

2. Table salt (sodium chloride) is a traditional natural food additive.

     a. Name two example of foods commonly added with table salt as a food additive. [2]

     b. State a function of the use of sodium chloride in these foods. [1]

     c. Table salt is also used as seasoning in cooking. Under which class of food additives is table salt used in this case? [1]

3. Natural food additives may be classified into different classes depending on their usage.

    a. State five classes of natural food additives. [5]

    b. Garlic can be classified under two different classes of natural food additives depending on its functions. What are these two functions and briefly explain how garlic works in these functions. [4]

4. Sodium nitrites and MSG are commonly added to meat as food additives in the making of sausages and burgers.

    a. (i) which class of synthetic food additives does sodium nitrite belong to? [1]

       (ii) what is the main purpose of using sodium nitrite in these foods? [1]

       (iii) state one negative side effect associated with the usage of sodium nitrite in these foods. [1]

       (iv) name a substance other than sodium nitrite that is commonly used in these foods for the same purpose. [1]

    b. (i) give the chemical name for MSG. [1]

        (ii) state the class of synthetic food additives that MSG belongs to. [1]

        (iii) state one possible side effect of the usage of MSG. [1]

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