top of page

The Truth about Food Additives

Food manufacturers are required to list a large number of allowable food additives by either identifying its 'E' number or by its proper name, which the health conscious strive to avoid. It is important to start to take time to become familiar with the more common terms used so more informed decisions can be made when choosing food.

Refined sugars : are in many cases mildly addictive, contain empty calories and help to increase sales. Common sugars are :

  • food adatives.png 2015-1-17-16:47:1


  • dextrose

  • glucose syrup

  • glucose - fructose syrup

  • inverted sugar syrup

  • high fructose corn starch

  • mannitol

  • xylitol

  • sorbitol

  • maltodextrin.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) : is an isolated amino acid that acts as a flavour enhancer and is also addictive. It has been linked with obesity due to it is effects on the brain and influence on appetite. Any of the following ingredients will indicate its presence:

  • yeast extract

  • hydrolysed protein

  • whey protein isolate

  • soy protein isolate

  • carrageenan

  • most 'natural ' flavourings

Artificial sweeteners : are all excitotoxins that stimulate the sensory areas of the brain and create a desire for more almost all of which have potentially harmful side effects

  • Aspartame: also branded as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful or anything that states it is a source of phenylalanine. The American Food and Drug Administration have received more complaints about aspartame than any other additive in history. Over 6000 food products available to the consumer.

  • Sucralose : branded as Splenda, initial tests have uncovered a shrinking of the thymus and enlargement of the liver and kidneys as a result in ingesting sucralose.

  • Acesulfame K : stimulates insulin which causes hypoglycaemia.

  • Saccharin : anticipated human carcinogen which is sensitive individuals may cause irritability, insomnia, headaches, itching or diarrhoea.

E numbers : may well be used on ingredients lists

  • E102-tatrazine

  • E123-amaranth

  • E 252- potassium nitrite

  • E330-ciric acid

  • E621-monosodium glutamate

  • E951-aspartame

  • E954-saccharin

Additive Categories:

  • E100's -are colorings

  • E200's-are mostly preservatives

  • E300's -are antioxidants, acidity regulators, and anti - caking agents

  • E400's-are emulsifiers, thickeners, stabilisers, and gelling agents

  • E 900's- are generally waxes, sugars, and sweeteners

  • Other E numbers - anti-foaming agents, carrier solvents, bulking agents, firming agents, flavour enhancers, flour treatment agents, glazing agents, modified starches, or raising agents.

Flavourings : can be either artificial or natural, both of which often have a large number of chemicals hidden behind the simple words. The flavouring industry is one of the world's largest industries, but is generally hidden in secrecy. It is not required for the chemical concoctions to be listed in the ingredients.

Additive safety : The majority of additives on the officially accepted lists have been shown to be safe when kept within accepted limits : 150 additives have had concerns raised about them due to some sign of adverse reaction in testing. 70 additives are known to cause allergic reactions and intolerance in some people. 30 additives are known to be harmful. We should try to minimise their presence in our diet.

Food Recommendations:

Avoid :

  • processed food in general

  • fast foods

  • confectionery

  • soft drinks and cordials

  • pre-packaged meals

  • refined baked goods

  • 'low fat' foods or 'healthy' options

  • cheap sausages , burgers, pies

Advise :

  • buy organic additives used minimally

  • use whole, fresh produce

  • home baking you choose ingredients

  • always read food ingredients lists

bottom of page