Pronunciation: (ad'i-tiv),[key] —n. 1. something that is added, as one substance to another, to alter or improve the general quality or to counteract undesirable properties: an additive that thins paint. 2. Nutrition. a. Also calledfood additive. a substance added directly to food during processing, as for preservation, coloring, or stabilization.
b. something that becomes part of food or affects it as a result of packaging or processing, as debris or radiation.
—adj. 1. characterized or produced by addition; cumulative: an additive process. 2. Math.(of a function) having the property that the function of the union or sum of two quantities is equal to the sum of the functional values of each quantity; linear.