The following points highlight the top three food adjuncts from plants. The food adjuncts are: 1. Spices and Condiments 2. Vitamins 3. Non-Alcoholic Beverages.
Food Adjunct # 1. Spices and Condiments:
The spices cannot be grouped as foods, for they contain less nutritive value. They stimulate the appetite and increase the secretion and flow of gastric juices. They give a good flavor and aroma to food, and add greatly to the pleasure of eating. For this reason they are commonly known as “food adjuncts”.
The aromatic value of the spices is due to the presence of the essential oils. Sometimes the term “spice” is restricted to hard parts of plants, which are generally used in a pulverized state. Condiments are spices or other flavouring substances which possess a sharp taste, and are commonly added to food after it has been cooked.
Food Adjunct # 2. Vitamins:
The vitamins are absolutely essential for well-being of both plants and animals. They are formed by plants. They are necessary for normal metabolism, growth, development and reproduction.
Vitamins are also essential for the prevention of several human diseases. Fruits, vegetables and seeds of various plants are good sources of vitamins. Seaweeds contain nearly all the known vitamins. The yeasts also contain several important vitamins.
Food Adjunct # 3. Non-Alcoholic Beverages:
The beverages containing caffeine are used all over the world for their stimulating and refreshing qualities. Caffeine is an alkaloid, which has definite medicinal values and acts as a diuretic and nerve stimulant. The most important non-alcoholic beverages are—tea, coffee and cocoa. Caffeine is harmful in large quantities; it is present in these beverages in very small amounts, not exceeding two per cent.
The other beverages which do not contain alcohol are commonly known as soft drinks. They contain high sugar content and make a good source of energy. The fruit juices are the simplest soft drinks.