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Food additive

Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavour or enhance its taste and appearance. Some additives have been used for centuries; for example, preserving food by pickling (with vinegar), salting, as with bacon, preserving sweets or using sulphur dioxide as in some wines. With the advent of processed foods in the second half of the 20th century, many more additives have been introduced, of both natural and artificial origin.

To regulate these additives, and inform consumers, each additive is assigned a unique number, termed as "E numbers", which is used in Europe for all approved additives. This numbering scheme has now been adopted and extended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission to internationally identify all additives, regardless of whether they are approved for use. E numbers are all prefixed by "E", but countries outside Europe use only the number, whether the additive is approved in Europe or not. For example, acetic acid is written as E260 on products sold in Europe, but is simply known as additive 260 in some countries. Additive 103, alkanet, is not approved for use in Europe so does not have an E number, although it is approved for use in Australia and New Zealand. Since 1987, Australia has had an approved system of labelling for additives in packaged foods. Each food additive has to be named or numbered. The numbers are the same as in Europe, but without the prefix 'E'. The United States Food and Drug Administration list these items as "Generally recognized as safe" or GRAS; they are listed under both their Chemical Abstract Services number and Fukda regulation under the US Code of Federal Regulations. Categories

Food additives can be divided into several groups, although there is some overlap between them. Acids Food acids are added to make flavors "sharper", and also act as preservatives and antioxidants. Common food acids include vinegar, citric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, and lactic acid. Acidity regulators Acidity regulators are used to change or otherwise control the acidity and alkalinity of foods. Anticaking agents Anticaking agents keep powders such as milk powder from caking or sticking. Antifoaming agents Antifoaming agents reduce or prevent foaming in foods.

Antioxidants Antioxidants such as vitamin C act as preservatives by inhibiting the effects of oxygen on food, and can be beneficial to health. Bulking agents Bulking agents such as starch are additives that increase the bulk of a food without affecting its taste. Food colouring Colourings are added to food to replace colours lost during preparation, or to make food look more attractive. Colour retention agents In contrast to colourings, colour retention agents are used to preserve a food's existing color. Emulsifiers Emulsifiers allow water and oils to remain mixed together in an emulsion, as in mayonnaise, ice cream, and homogenized milk. Flavours Flavours are additives that give food a particular taste or smell, and may be derived from natural ingredients or created artificially. Flavour enhancers Flavour enhancers enhance a food's existing flavours. They may be extracted from natural sources (through distillation, solvent extraction, maceration, among other methods) or created artificially. Flour treatment agents Flour treatment agents are added to flour to improve its colour or its use in baking. Glazing agents Glazing agents provide a shiny appearance or protective coating to foods. Humectants Humectants prevent foods from drying out. Tracer gas Tracer gas allows for package integrity testing preventing foods from being exposed to atmosphere, thus guaranteeing shelf life.

Preservatives Preservatives prevent or inhibit spoilage of food due to fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms. Stabilizers Stabilizers, thickeners and gelling agents, like agar or pectin (used in jam for example) give foods a firmer texture. While they are not true emulsifiers, they help to stabilize emulsions. Sweeteners Sweeteners are added to foods for flavouring. Sweeteners other than sugar are added to keep the food energy (calories) low, or because they have beneficial effects for diabetes mellitus and tooth decay and diarrhoea. Thickeners Thickeners are substances which, when added to the mixture, increase its viscosity without substantially modifying its other properties.

Acidity regulator
Acidity regulators, or pH control agents, are food additives added to change or maintain pH (acidity or basicity). They can be organic or mineral acids, bases, neutralizing agents, or buffering agents. Acidity regulators are indicated by their E number, such as E260 (acetic acid), or simply listed as "food acid". Commonly used acidity regulators are citric, acetic and lactic acids.

Anticaking agent
An anticaking agent is an additive placed in powdered or granulated materials, such as table salt, to prevent the formation of lumps and for easing packaging, transport, and consumption. An anticaking agent in salt is denoted in the ingredients, for example, as "anti-caking agent (554)", which is sodium aluminosilicate, a man-made product. This product is present in many commercial table salts as well as dried milks, egg mixes, sugar products, and flours. In Europe, sodium ferrocyanide (535) and potassium ferrocyanide (536) are more common anticaking agents in table salt. Natural anticaking agents used in more expensive table salt include calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. Some anticaking agents are soluble in water; others are soluble in alcohols or other organic solvents. They function either by adsorbing excess moisture, or by coating particles and making them water repellent. Calcium silicate (CaSiO3), a commonly used anti-caking agent, added to e.g. table salt, absorbs both water and oil. Anticaking agents are also used in non-food items such as road salt, fertilisers, cosmetics, synthetic detergents, and in manufacturing applications.

List of anticaking agents

The following anticaking agents are listed in order by their E number. E341 Tricalcium Phosphate E460(ii) Powdered cellulose E500 Sodium bicarbonate E535 Sodium ferrocyanide E536 Potassium ferrocyanide E538 Calcium ferrocyanide E542 Bone phosphate E550 Sodium silicate E551 Silicon dioxide E552 Calcium silicate E553a Magnesium trisilicate E553b Talcum powder E554 Sodium aluminosilicate E555 Potassium aluminium silicate E556 Calcium aluminosilicate E558 Bentonite E559 Aluminium silicate E570 Stearic acid E900 Polydimethylsiloxane

Antifoaming agent
A defoamer or an anti-foaming agent is a chemical additive that reduces and hinders the formation of foam in industrial process liquids. The terms anti-foam agent and defoamer are often used interchangeably. A defoamer is normally used in industrial processes to increase speed and reduce other problems. It addresses both problems with surface foam and entrained or entrapped air. A wide variety of chemical formulas are available to promote coalescence of foam. When used as an ingredient in food, antifoaming agents are intended to curb effusion or effervescence in preparation or serving. The agents are included in a variety of foods such as chicken nuggets in the form of polydimethylsiloxane (a type of silicone). Silicone oil is also added to cooking oil to prevent foaming in deep-frying

An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Antioxidants are used as food additives to help guard against food deterioration. Exposure to oxygen and sunlight are the two main factors in the oxidation of food, so food is preserved by keeping in the dark and sealing it in containers or even coating it in wax, as with cucumbers. However, as oxygen is

also important for plant respiration, storing plant materials in anaerobic conditions produces unpleasant flavours and unappealing colours. Consequently, packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables contains a ~8% oxygen atmosphere. Antioxidants are an especially important class of preservatives as, unlike bacterial or fungal spoilage, oxidation reactions still occur relatively rapidly in frozen or refrigerated food. These preservatives include natural antioxidants such as ascorbic acid (AA, E300) and tocopherols (E306), as well as synthetic antioxidants such as propyl gallate (PG, E310), tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA, E320) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT, E321). The most common molecules attacked by oxidation are unsaturated fats; oxidation causes them to turn rancid. Since oxidized lipids are often discoloured and usually have unpleasant tastes such as metallic or sulphurous flavours, it is important to avoid oxidation in fat-rich foods. Thus, these foods are rarely preserved by drying; instead, they are preserved by smoking, salting or fermenting. Even less fatty foods such as fruits are sprayed with sulphurous antioxidants prior to air drying. Oxidation is often catalyzed by metals, which is why fats such as butter should never be wrapped in aluminium foil or kept in metal containers. Some fatty foods such as olive oil are partially protected from oxidation by their natural content of antioxidants, but remain sensitive to photo oxidation. Antioxidant preservatives are also added to fat-based cosmetics such as lipstick and moisturizers to prevent rancidity.

Food colouring
Food coloring, or color additive, is any dye, pigment or substance that imparts color when it is added to food or drink. They come in many forms consisting of liquids, powders, gels and pastes. Food coloring is used both in commercial food production and in domestic cooking. Due to its safety and general availability, food coloring is also used in a variety of non-food applications including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, home craft projects and medical devices.

Natural food dyes

A growing number of natural food dyes are being commercially produced, partly due to consumer concerns surrounding synthetic dyes. Some examples include: Caramel coloring (E150), made from caramelized sugar Annatto (E160b), a reddish-orange dye made from the seed of the achiote. Chlorophyllin (E140), a green dye made from chlorella algae Cochineal (E120), a red dye derived from the cochineal insect, Dactylopius coccus Betanin (E162) extracted from beets Turmeric (curcuminoids, E100) Saffron (carotenoids, E160a) Paprika (E160c) Lycopene (E160d)

Elderberry juice Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius), a green food coloring Butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea), a blue food dye To ensure reproducibility, the colored components of these substances are often provided in highly purified form, and for increased stability and convenience, they can be formulated in suitable carrier materials (solid and liquids). Hexane, acetone and other solvents break down cell walls in the fruit and vegetables and allow for maximum extraction of the coloring. Residues of these often remain in the finished product, but they do not need to be declared on the product; this is because they are part of a group of substances known as carry-over ingredients. Natural food colors, due to their organic nature, can sometimes cause allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in sensitive individuals. Coloring agents known to be potential hazards include annatto, cochineal and carmine.

Artificial coloring in United States

Seven dyes were initially approved under the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, but several have been delisted and replacements have been found.[6] Some of the food colorings have the abbreviation "FCF" in their names. This stands for "For Coloring Food" (US) or "For Colouring of Food" (UK). Current seven In the US, the following seven artificial colorings are permitted in food (the most common in bold) as of 2007: FD&C Blue No. 1 Brilliant Blue FCF, E133 (blue shade) FD&C Blue No. 2 Indigotine, E132 (indigo shade) FD&C Green No. 3 Fast Green FCF, E143 (turquoise shade) FD&C Red No. 40 Allura Red AC, E129 (red shade) FD&C Red No. 3 Erythrosine, E127 (pink shade, commonly used in glac cherries)[10] FD&C Yellow No. 5 Tartrazine, E102 (yellow shade) FD&C Yellow No. 6 Sunset Yellow FCF, E110 (orange shade) Limited use The following dyes are only allowed by the FDA for specific limited applications: Orange B (red shade) - allowed only for use in hot dog and sausage casings. Citrus Red 2 (orange shade) - allowed only for use to color orange peels. Delisted and banned

FD&C Red No. 2 Amaranth FD&C Red No. 4 was used to color Florida oranges. FD&C Orange Number 1 was one of the first water soluble dyes to be commercialized, and one of seven original food dyes allowed under the Pure Food and Drug Act of June 30, 1906. was used to color Florida oranges. FD&C Yellow No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 FD&C Violet No. 1

Colour retention agent

Colour retention agents are food additives that are added to food to prevent the colour from changing. Many of them work by absorbing or binding to oxygen before it can damage food (antioxidants). For example, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is often added to brightly coloured fruits such as peaches during canning

List of colour retention agent

E number Common name Max permitted level Sources Application


Standard 1.3.1 - Food Additives (Australian)

Wine, sparkling wine and fortified wine


Ascorbic acid

Fruit and vegetable-based drinks, juices and baby 0.03% (w/w), or 0.02% The Miscellaneous Food foods (w/w) depending on Additives Regulations the matrix 1995 Fat-containing cerealbased foods including biscuits and rusks

An emulsifier (also known as an "emulgent") is a substance that stabilizes an emulsion by increasing its kinetic stability. One class of emulsifiers is known as "surface active substances", or surfactants. Examples of food emulsifiers are: Egg yolk - in which the main emulsifying agent is lecithin mustard - where a variety of chemicals in the mucilage surrounding the seed hull act as emulsifiers Proteins

Low molecular weight emulsifiers Soy lecithin is another emulsifier and thickener Pickering stabilization - uses particles under certain circumstances sodium stearoyl lactylate DATEM (Diacetyl Tartaric (Acid) Ester of Monoglyceride) - an emulsifier primarily used in baking Detergents are another class of surfactants, and will physically interact with both oil and water, thus stabilizing the interface between the oil and water droplets in suspension. This principle is exploited in soap, to remove grease for the purpose of cleaning. Many different emulsifiers are used in pharmacy to prepare emulsions such as creams and lotions. Common examples include emulsifying wax, cetearyl alcohol, polysorbate 20, and ceteareth 20. Sometimes the inner phase itself can act as an emulsifier, and the result is a nanoemulsion, where the inner state disperses into "nano-size" droplets within the outer phase. A well-known example of this phenomenon, the "Ouzo effect", happens when water is poured into a strong alcoholic anise-based beverage, such as ouzo, pastis, arak, or raki. The anisolic compounds, which are soluble in ethanol, then form nano-size droplets and emulsify within the water. The resulting color of the drink is opaque and milky white.

In food
Oil-in-water emulsions are common in food: Crema in espresso coffee oil in water (brewed coffee), unstable emulsion Mayonnaise and Hollandaise sauce - these are oil-in-water emulsions that are stabilized with egg yolk lecithin, or with other types of food additives, such as sodium stearoyl lactylate Vinaigrette an emulsion of vegetable oil in vinegar. If this is prepared using only oil and vinegar (i.e. without an emulsifier), an unstable emulsion results Homogenized milk an emulsion of milk fat in water and milk proteins

Flavor or flavour is the sensory impression of a food or other substance, and is determined mainly by the chemical senses of taste and smell. The "trigeminal senses", which detect chemical irritants in the mouth and throat as well as temperature and texture, are also very important to the overall Gestalt of flavor perception. The flavor of the food, as such, can be altered with natural or artificial flavorants, which affect these senses. Flavorant is defined as a substance that gives another substance flavor, altering the characteristics of the solute, causing it to become sweet, sour, tangy, etc. Of the three chemical senses, smell is the main determinant of a food item's flavor. While the taste of food is limited to sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami (savory) piquance and metallic, the seven basic tastes the smells of a food are potentially limitless. A food's flavor, therefore, can be easily altered by changing its smell while keeping its taste similar. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in artificially flavored jellies, soft drinks and candies, which, while made of bases with a similar taste,

have dramatically different flavors due to the use of different scents or fragrances. The flavorings of commercially produced food products are typically created by flavorists. Smell Smell flavorants, or simply, flavorants, are engineered and composed in similar ways as with industrial fragrances and fine perfumes. To produce natural flavors, the flavorant must first be extracted from the source substance. The methods of extraction can involve solvent extraction, distillation, or using force to squeeze it out. The extracts are then usually further purified and subsequently added to food products to flavor them. To begin producing artificial flavors, flavor manufacturers must either find out the individual naturally occurring aroma chemicals and mix them appropriately to produce a desired flavor or create a novel non-toxic artificial compound that gives a specific flavor. Most artificial flavors are specific and often complex mixtures of singular naturally occurring flavor compounds combined together to either imitate or enhance a natural flavor. These mixtures are formulated by flavorists to give a food product a unique flavor and to maintain flavor consistency between different product batches or after recipe changes. The list of known flavoring agents includes thousands of molecular compounds, and the flavor chemist (flavorist) can often mix these together to produce many of the common flavors. Many flavorants consist of esters, which are often described as being "sweet" or "fruity". Chemical DiacetylButtery Isoamyl acetate Banana Benzaldehyde Bitter almond Cinnamic aldehyde Ethyl propionate Methyl anthranilate Limonene Orange Pear Cinnamon Fruity Grape Odor

Ethyl- (''E'',''Z'')-2,4-decadienoate Allyl hexanoate Pineapple Ethyl maltol Ethylvanillin Sugar, Cotton candy Vanilla Wintergreen

Methyl salicylate

The compounds used to produce artificial flavors are almost identical to those that occur naturally. It has been suggested that artificial flavors may be safer to consume than natural flavors due to the standards of purity and mixture consistency that are enforced either by the company or by law.

Natural flavors in contrast may contain impurities from their sources while artificial flavors are typically more pure and are required to undergo more testing before being sold for consumption. Flavors from food products are usually the result of a combination of natural flavors, which set up the basic smell profile of a food product while artificial flavors modify the smell to accent it. Unlike smelling, which occurs upon inhalation, the sensing of flavors in the mouth occurs in the exhalation phase of breathing and is perceived differently by an individual. In other words, the smell of food is different depending on when you are smelling it in front of you or whether it has already entered your mouth. Taste While salt and sugar can technically be considered flavorants that enhance salty and sweet tastes, usually only compounds that enhance umami, as well as other secondary flavors are considered and referred to as taste flavorants. Artificial sweeteners are also technically flavorants. Umami or "savory" flavorants, more commonly called taste or flavor enhancers are largely based on amino acids and nucleotides. These are typically used as sodium or calcium salts. Umami flavorants recognized and approved by the European Union include: Acid Description

Glutamic acid salts This amino acid's sodium salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), a notable example, is one of the most commonly used flavor enhancers in food processing. Mono and diglutamate salts are also commonly used. Glycine salts Simple amino acid salts typically combined with glutamic acid as flavor enhancers. Nucleotide salts typically combined with glutamic acid as flavor enhancers.

Guanylic acid salts

Inosinic acid salts Nucleotide salts created from the breakdown of AMP. Due to high costs of production, typically combined with glutamic acid as flavor enhancers. 5'-ribonucleotide salts Nucleotide salts typically combined with other amino acids and nucleotide salts as flavor enhancers. Certain organic and inorganic acids can be used to enhance sour tastes, but like salt and sugar these are usually not considered and regulated as flavorants under law. Each acid imparts a slightly different sour or tart taste that alters the flavor of a food. Acid Description Gives vinegar its sour taste and distinctive smell

Acetic acid

Ascorbic acid Found in oranges and green peppers and gives a crisp, slightly sour taste. Better known as vitamin C. Citric acid Fumaric acid Found in citrus fruits and gives them their sour taste Not found in fruits, used as a substitute for citric and tartaric acid

Lactic acid Malic acid

Found in various milk or fermented products and give them a rich tartness Found in apples and gives them their sour/tart taste

Phosphoric acid Used in all Cola drinks to give an acid taste Tartaric acid Color The color of food can affect flavor. For example, adding more red color to a drink increases its sweetness with darker colored solutions being rated 210% higher than lighter ones even though it had 1% less sucrose concentration. The effect of color is believed to be due to cognitive expectations. Found in grapes and wines and gives them a tart taste

Flavour enhancer
Flavour enhancers are food additives commonly added to food and designed to enhance the existing flavours of products. In western cultures, the 5th taste or umami went unrecognized for a long time. It was believed that flavour enhancers did not add any new taste of their own. It is now understood that these substances activate taste receptors for umami, and thus add this taste to products.

European (by E number) Glutamic acid (an amino acid) and its salts: E620 Glutamic acid E621 Monosodium glutamate, MSG E622 Monopotassium glutamate E623 Calcium diglutamate E624 Monoammonium glutamate E625 Magnesium diglutamate Guanylic acid (a ribonucleotide) and its salts: E626 Guanylic acid E627 Disodium guanylate, sodium guanylate E628 Dipotassium guanylate E629 Calcium guanylate Inosinic acid (a ribonucleotide) and its salts: E630 Inosinic acid E631 Disodium inosinate

E632 Dipotassium inosinate E633 Calcium inosinate Mixtures of guanylate and inosinate: E634 Calcium 5'-ribonucleotides E635 Disodium 5'-ribonucleotides Maltol and ethyl maltol: E636 Maltol E637 Ethyl maltol Amino acids and their salts: E640 Glycine and its sodium salt E641 L-Leucine

Flour treatment agent

Flour treatment agents (also called improving agents, bread improvers, dough conditioners and dough improvers) are food additives combined with flour to improve baking functionality. Flour treatment agents are used to increase the speed of dough rising and to improve the strength and workability of the dough. They are an important component of modern plant baking, reducing the time needed to produce a loaf of bread to two hours from the 12 to 24 hours early breadmaking required. There are wide ranges of these conditioners used in bakery processing, which fall into four main categories: bleaching agents, oxidizing and reducing agents, enzymes, and emulsifiers. These agents are often sold as mixtures in a soy flour base, as only small amounts are required. Flour bleaching agents are added to flour to make it appear whiter (freshly milled flour is yellowish), to oxidize the surfaces of the flour grains, and help with developing of gluten. Oxidizing agents are added to flour to help with gluten development. They may or may not also act as bleaching agents. Originally flour was naturally aged through exposure to the atmosphere. Oxidizing agents primarily affect sulphur containing amino acids that ultimately help form a disulphide [1] bridge between gluten molecules. The addition of these agents to flour will create a stronger dough. Common oxidizing agents are: various flour bleaching agents azodicarbonamide (E927) carbamide (E927b) potassium bromate (E924, the component which gives bromated flour its name, used mainly in the midwest and east of the US, acts as a bleaching agent) ascorbic acid (used mainly in the western US, helps form gluten) phosphates malted barley potassium iodate

Reducing agents help to weaken the flour by breaking the protein network. This will help with various aspects of handling a strong dough. The benefits of adding these agents are reduced mixing time, [2] reduced dough elasticity, reduced proofing time, and improved machinability. Common reducing agents are: L-cysteine (E920, E921; quantities in the tens of ppm range help soften the dough and thus reduce processing time) fumeric acid sodium bisulphate non-leavened yeast ascorbic acid

Enzymes are also used to improve processing characteristics. Yeast naturally produces both amylases and proteinases, but additional quantities may be added to produce faster and more complete reactions. Amylases break down the starch in flours into simple sugars, thereby letting yeast ferment quickly. Malt is a natural source of amylase. Proteases improve extensibility of the dough by degrading some of the gluten. Lipoxygenases oxidize the flour.

Glazing agent
A glazing agent is a natural or synthetic substance that provides a waxy, homogeneous, coating to prevent water loss and provide other surface protection for the substance.

Differences between Natural and Synthetic Glazing Agents

[edit]Natural Natural glazing agents have been found present, most often in plants or insects. In nature, the agents are used to keep the moisture in the specimen, but science has harnessed this characteristic by turning it into a glazing agent that acts as a coating. This glazing agent is made up of a substance that is classified as a wax. A natural wax is chemically defined as an ester with a very long hydrocarbon chain that also includes a long chain alcohol. However, in a wax there have been many different chemical structures that can be included in a definition of a wax, such as: wax esters, sterol esters, [2] ketones, aldehydes, alcohols, hydrocarbons, and sterols. Examples are: Stearic acid (E570) Beeswax (E901) Candelilla wax (E902) Carnauba wax (E903) Shellac (E904) Microcrystalline wax (E905c), Crystalline wax (E907) Lanolin (E913) Oxidized polyethylene wax (E914) Esters of colophonium (E915) Paraffin

Science has produced similar glazing agents that mimic their natural counterparts. These components [3] are added in different proportions to achieve the most optimal glazing agent for a product. These [4][5][6] products range from things in the cosmetic, automobile and food industry. Some of the characteristics that are looked for in all of the above industries are: 1. Preservation- It refers to the glazing agent to be able to protect the product from degrading and water loss. The characteristic can lead to a longer shelf life for a food or the longevity of a car without rusting.

2. Stability- It is important for the glazing agent itself to maintain its integrity if under any pressure or heat.

3. Uniform viscosity- This ensures for a stronger protective coating because it can be applied to the product as a homogeneous layer.

4. Industrial reproduction- This is important because most glazing agents are used on commercial goods and therefore large quantities of glazing agent may be needed.

There are different variations of glazing agents, depending on the product, but they are all designed for the same purpose.

A desiccant or humectant is a hygroscopic substance that induces or sustains a state of dryness (desiccation) in its local vicinity in a moderately well-sealed container. Commonly encountered pre-packaged desiccants are solids, and work through absorption or adsorption of water, or a combination of the two. Desiccants for specialized purposes may be in forms other than solid, and may work through other principles, such as chemical bonding of water molecules. Pre-packaged desiccant is most commonly used to remove excessive humidity that would normally degrade or even destroy products sensitive to moisture. Some commonly used desiccants are: silica gel, activated charcoal, calcium sulfate, calcium chloride, montmorillonite clay, and molecular sieves. When used as a food additive, the humectant has the effect of keeping the foodstuff moist. Humectants are sometimes used as a component of antistatic coatings for plastics. Humectants are also found in many cosmetic products where moisturization is desired, including treatments such as moisturizing hair conditioners and also commonly used in body lotions. Humectants are also used in the manufacture of some cigarettes and other tobacco products. Humectants are also used in topical dosage forms to increase the solubility of the active ingredient, to elevate its skin penetration and increase its activity time. Humectants also elevate the hydration of the skin to minimize the dehydrating effect of some active ingredients like corticoids.