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Anticaking Agent Silica (INS 551)

Also Known As : Silicon dioxide amorphous, Silicon dioxide


Usage Tips

  1. Anticaking Agent Silica (INS 551) is used in salts, icing sugar, spices, milk powder, dry mixes, baking powder, table salt, cocoa, and mixed coffee beverages, to name a few to prevent clumping and keep them free-flowing.

Common names and forms

  1. Anticaking Agent (551)
  2. Anticaking Agent (E551)
  3. Anticaking Agent (SI02)
  4. Anticaking Agent (Silicon Dioxide)
  5. Anticaking Agents (INS 551)
  6. E551
  7. Permitted Anti-Caking agent-551
  8. Permitted Anticaking Agent (INS 551)
  9. Permitted Anticaking Agent E551
  10. Silicon Dioxide E551


Have you ever noticed how readily cake mixes , flour, sugar and even salt absorb water and oils and clump together in no time?

 This process of lump formation is known as “caking” in the food industry. As it affects the binding capacity of food, this process of caking is not a desirable change. So, to prevent lump formation during food production and processing, anti-caking agents are used. An anticaking agent is a food additive that is used either in powdered or granulated foods ingredients like table salt or confectioneries to prevent the formation of lumps (caking). One such popular anti-caking agent is Anticaking Agent Silica (INS 551). Want to know further about it? 

The Basics

Anticaking Agent Silica (INS 551), is widely used as a food additive in the form of an anticaking agent. The main purpose of using an anti-caking agent in powdered or granulated materials is to prevent the formation of lumps. This helps in easing packaging, transport, and consumption. Anticaking Agent Silica (INS 551) is derived from naturally occurring quartz, which is one of the most abundant minerals in the earth’s crust. It is available as white, fluffy powdery substance that is produced through a wet process, yielding silica or silica gel. It is widely used in organic foods as a gel or colloidal solution and in herbs and spices in powder form. It is also used in the production of foods like shredded cheese, dried eggs, powdered mixes and spices, and in the filtration of beer. 

Are they safe?

Yes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has signaled the use of anti-caking agents used in foods and beverages. However, for each of the anticaking agents, the FDA first reviews the data. Once approved, that ingredient is then deemed safe and given the status officially known as “Generally Recognized as Safe,” or “GRAS” certification, which means it is certified and managed by the FDA.  

So the next time that you check on the label of a food, you know what you might look for to make a safe choice


Long term inhalation of silica dust may lead to issues in the lungs like silicosis (a irreversible lung disease), lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, increased risk of tuberculosis. Also, long-term exposure to silica may affect the kidney and increase the risk of autoimmune diseases.(1)

- Disclaimer
"Information here is provided for discussion and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or product or ingredient review/rating. The information may not apply to you and before you use or take any action, you should contact the manufacturer, seller, medical, dietary, fitness or other professional. If you utilize any information provided here, you do so at your own risk and you waive any right against Culinary Communications Private Limited, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees or representatives.”