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A group of compounds used, along with chelating agents or metal scavengers, in the "war" against the oxiditive breakdown of food - fought by food processors. The leading ones include citric acid, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate and the salts of EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid).

Between them they are used to improve the flavour, colour and texture of margarine, cheese, salad dressings and canned beans.

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