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My preparation of this edition has been no less dependent on the support of others than were the previous five, particularly the support and encouragement of my wife, Ann. I continue to rely on colleagues, friends and readers of earlier editions for inspiration, detection of errors and expert guidance through controversial or unfamiliar topics. To the thirty or so mentioned in previous editions I must now add Guy Crosby, Lars-Gunnar Franzén, Jessada Mahatthananchai and Peter Shewry, who have all made valuable contributions to this edition. Special thanks must go to my London South Bank University friend and colleague, Martin Chaplin, who has been giving me invaluable advice and support ever since we first met in 1988. Of course the opinions that are expressed in this book, and any errors that remain, must be placed at my door, no one else's.

The staff of the UK Food Standards Agency have been an invaluable source of up to date information on legislative issues. What is recorded in this book was correct at the time of writing but readers should always consult the FSA (in the UK), or other appropriate government organisations, when authoritative information is required on what is, or is not, currently permitted.

Since I started work on the first edition of this work I have depended on the professional input of my many friends at the Royal Society of Chemistry, most particularly Janet Freshwater.

In times past the activities of chemists in their laboratories were often likened to cookery but recent years have seen an increasing number professional cooks, or more correctly chefs, bringing chemistry to bear on their work. First among these is my friend Heston Blumenthal. Until I met Heston it had never occurred to me that what I had to say might be of interest to the world of fine dining and internationally renowned chefs. Once again he has consented to write a Foreword to this book which to me is a great honour for which I am exceedingly grateful.

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