A food additive is any substance added to food. Legally, the term refers to "any substance the intended use which results or may reasonably be expected to result-directly or indirectly-in its becoming a componentor otherwise affecting the characteristics of any food." This definition includes any substance used in the production,processing, treatment, packaging, transportation or storage of food.
If a substance is added to a food for a specific purpose in that food, it isreferred to as a direct additive.
For example,the low-calorie sweetener aspartame, which is used in beverages, puddings, yogurt, chewing gum and other foods, isconsidered a direct additive. Many direct additives are identified on the ingredient label of foods.Indirect food additives are those that become part of the food in trace amounts due to its packaging, storage or other handling. For instance, minute amounts of packaging substances may find their way into foods during storage. Food
packaging manufacturers must be proven by the Food and Drugs Administration.