Food additives are synthetic chemical or natural substances that are not consumed on their own, but are only added to foods to impart certain qualities, such as taste, texture, color, smell, shelf life and appearance. There is a lot of talk about the expediency of their use and the effect on the body. Types of food additives. The phrase "food additives" scares many. People began to use them many thousands of years ago. This does not apply to complex chemicals. We are talking about table salt, lactic and acetic acid, spices and spices. They are also considered food additives.