Preservatives are chemical compounds that are added to food products to prevent spoilage and extend their shelf life. They work by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds that can cause food to spoil or deteriorate. Common preservatives used in the food industry include benzoates, sorbates, nitrites, and sulfites. Preservatives can be synthetic or natural, and their use is regulated by food safety agencies to ensure that they are safe for human consumption. Innovative preservative solutions aim to balance efficacy, safety, and sustainability, meeting the changing needs and expectations of consumers while reducing food waste.