Additives in Food
Sura Nualpradid

Additives in food are very common in processed food. It is also common in any food which is treated in some way. Very few foods are exempt. Do you check for the food ingredients before you buy any packaged food?

I do know of someone who is annoyed at people who check the ingredients before buying a product. It seemed a strange thing to be annoyed about. She obviously felt complete trust in food manufacturers. Should you have that same trust?

Food manufacturers are corporations. The primary goal of any corporation is to make a profit. They have bills and salaries to pay. Many have little time to consider the quality of their ingredients beyond the scope of their legal requirements.

Legal requirements are laid down by government bodies. But government bodies have a track record of passing questionable products that are later banned.

The onus is on you to be informed and to make sure you know what you are eating. Only you are ultimately responsible for you. Others have different agendas.

Let’s take a look at a few of the common additives in food and what they do to you.

Tartrazine is a synthetic colour added to fruit drinks, confectionary, yoghurt and bakery items. Tartrazine is also known as E102, FD&C Yellow #5. It is sourced from coal tar.

Tartrazine has been linked to hyperactivity in children, asthma, migraines, thyroid cancer, anxiety, depression, blurred vision and skin problems.

Benzoic acid is used as a preservative in beer, fruit juice, yoghurt, cheese, ready made sauces, meats, soft drinks. Benzoic acid is also known as E210. It can also be found in cosmetics and pharmaceutical medications.

Benzoic acid has been linked to nervous disorders, hyperactivity in children, asthma amongst other problems.

Propyl gallate is a synthetic antioxidant which is used to prevent oxidation in foods such as oils and fats, meats, soups, cereals, chewing gum, potato sticks and any foods that contain fat. Propyl gallate is also known as E310.

Propyl gallate has been linked to allergic reactions, stomach irritation, liver and kidney damage, skin problems and cancer.

Sorbitol is an artificial sweeteners used in confectionary, ice cream, chocolate, fruit and soft drinks, sugar- free pastries, gum, mints. Sorbitol is also known as E420.

Problems linked to sorbitol include digestive malabsorption and bowel fermentation. This can lead to IBS and dehydration. Cramps, bloating, excess gas and diarrhoea are the result of fermentation in the gut.

These are just a tiny sample of the many thousands of synthetic additives in food that are considered acceptable by most governments. Everyone is an individual and reacts differently to different stimuli. But why put your health at risk when a simple knowledge of food ingredients could prevent these ailments?

It isn’t just listed additives in food that are present. Sometimes a catalyst is used to create a desired reaction. The catalyst is not listed, but must leave an imprint on the food.

The best way to avoid all these products is to avoid all processed food. That doesn’t mean you need to starve. Just eat the right foods.

Here you can find out more about healthy foods, that have other benefits too.


Madeleine Innocent
Madeleine Innocent

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