People have been using food additives for thousands of years. Today about 2,800 substances are used as food additives. Salt, sugar, and corn syrup are by far the most widely used additives in food in this country.
In prehistoric times, cavemen may have smoked meats to make them taste better. In coastal regions, early man probably soaked foods,including meat and poultry, in seawater for better flavor and for preservation. The spice trade between Asia, the Middle East, and Europe flourished because the public demanded the flavors that spices added to foods. Early explorers went in search of salt and spices, and wealthy Romans were kidnaped for ransom of salt and spices. Our ancestors discovered that large amounts of sugar helped preserve fruits.