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Substances and chemicals in food and drink

additive

noun

a substance that is added in small amounts to something, especially food, in order to make it last longer, look more attractive, or improve it in some way

albumin

noun

a protein that is in the white part of an egg, in milk, and in blood plasma

ascorbic acid

noun

vitamin C

aspartame

noun

an artificial substance that does not contain many calories that is added to food or drink to make it taste sweeter

butterfat

noun

the fat in milk

caffeine

noun

a substance in coffee and tea that makes you feel awake. Drinks that have had the caffeine removed are decaffeinated or caffeine-free.

carbohydrate

noun

a substance found in foods such as sugar, bread, and potatoes. Carbohydrates supply your body with heat and energy.

coloring

the American spelling of colouring

curd

noun

the solid substance that forms in milk when it starts to become sour

E

noun

an E number

emulsifier

noun

a substance added to a food or drink to stop liquid and solid parts from separating

E number

noun

a number that represents a chemical that is added to food

fat

noun

a soft white substance on meat

fat

noun

oil found in food

fatty acid

noun

an acid found in fats and oils in animals and plants

fiber

the American spelling of fibre

fibre

noun

the parts of fruit, vegetables, and grains that your body cannot digest (=change into substances it can use). It helps food to pass through your body

flavoring

the American spelling of flavouring

flavouring

noun

a substance added to food or drink to give it a particular flavour

folic acid

noun

an important B vitamin, found in green vegetables and liver. It is especially important for pregnant women.

food

noun

the things that plants need in order to grow

fructose

noun

a type of sugar found in some fruits and honey

glucose

noun

a sugar that is produced in plants through photosynthesis and in animals’ bodies when carbohydrates are separated into the parts they consist of

gluten

noun

a sticky natural substance that is found in some foods, especially wheat

goodness

noun

substances such as vitamins and proteins that are contained in some foods and that help you to stay healthy

grease

noun

fat that comes out of meat when you cook it

gristle

noun

a strong substance that surrounds the joints of animals and is difficult to eat when you find it in meat

iron

noun

small quantities of iron, existing in some foods and in your body, which is important for good health

lactose

noun

a type of sugar that is present in milk and is sometimes used in artificial baby milk

mineral

noun

a natural substance in some foods that you need for good health, for example iron and calcium

monosodium glutamate

noun

MSG

MSG

noun

monosodium glutamate: a chemical added to food to improve its flavour

niacin

noun

a type of vitamin that exists in milk and other foods

nutrient

noun

a substance in food that plants, animals, and people need to live and grow

preservative

noun

a chemical substance used for preventing food or wood from decaying

prion

noun

a type of protein that is believed to be responsible for the serious brain diseases BSE and CJD

protein

noun

a substance in food such as meat, eggs, and milk that people need in order to grow and be healthy

RDA

noun

recommended daily allowance: the amount of something such as a vitamin that you should have every day

riboflavin

noun

a substance found in eggs, milk, liver, and green vegetables that your body needs to stay healthy. Riboflavin is a vitamin.

roughage

noun

fibre that helps food and waste to pass through your body

saccharin

noun

a chemical substance used instead of sugar for making food and drinks sweet

saturated fat

noun

fat from animal food such as meat or milk. Eating too much saturated fat can lead to high levels of cholesterol in the blood.

sodium bicarbonate

noun

a white powder used for making cakes rise

stabiliser

a British spelling of stabilizer

stabilizer

noun

a substance added to some prepared foods to stop the taste or appearance from changing

starch

noun

a white substance without any taste that is found in rice, potatoes, and other vegetables. It is a type of carbohydrate that gives you energy.

stimulant

noun

a substance that makes you feel more awake when you eat it or drink it

sweetener

noun

a substance added to food or drink to make it taste sweeter

tannin

noun

a substance in wine that gives it a slightly bitter taste

thiamin

noun

a natural chemical in many types of food that your body uses to make your nerves work correctly. It belongs to the vitamin B group.

trans fat

noun

a type of solid fat such as margarine produced when vegetable oils are changed by a chemical process. These fats are considered bad for your health because they increase your cholesterol level.

vitamin

noun

natural substances found in food that are necessary to keep your body healthy. Each vitamin is given a name using a letter of the alphabet, for example vitamin C which is found in many fruit and vegetables. A vitamin deficiency is a medical condition caused by lack of vitamins

vitamin A

noun

a vitamin found in some vegetables, fish, milk, and eggs that is important for sight, your skin, and the growth of tissue

vitamin B

noun

any one of a group of vitamins found in cereal grains, liver, and yeast that is important for growth, your blood, and your nerves

vitamin C

noun

a vitamin found especially in oranges and lemons and in vegetables with green leaves that is important for your skin, teeth, bones, and blood

vitamin D

noun

a vitamin found in fish and eggs that is important for bones and teeth. It is also produced by the action of sunlight on your skin.

whey

noun

a thin liquid that is formed when milk becomes sour

pre-cation

a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

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