- Last Updated on Thursday, 31 March 2016 11:50
Food Additives in Processed Foods
Children's Food Sensitivity? Food Additives Often Blamed - Not Always Guilty
Only a very small percentage of people actually react to food additives - less than 1% - (frequently children reacting to food colours). However - food additives do get blamed for all kinds of reactions - often unfairly. When most people react to foods - they probably have one of the four main intolerances: gluten, dairy, fructose or yeast.
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Why Are Food Additives Used?
Food additives play an important part in our food supply ensuring our food is safe and meets the needs of consumers. However they also meet the needs of food manufacturers who want to sell more and more products, over and over again. The kind of things the manufacturers need to achieve - which require the use of additives are:
Serving the Food Manufacturer - or the Consumer?
With all these requirements of the manufacturer - and all these additives - we need to be aware of what we are eating. And - while we understand additives may be necessary to produce these foods - they may not serve our nutritional requirements!
As with everything in life - we need balance. Exercise a little common sense before purchasing highly processed foods - especially those which are promoted as 'healthy'. There is probably a fresh food which will do just as well.
Reading Food Labels
More and more of us now read labels on foods in the supermarket. If you have any kind of food sensitivity - it's important to read labels - especially the ingredients list - and find out what exactly you will be eating.
However - some ingredients lists read like they belong in a chemistry laboratory inventory - not in our foods.
You may see chemical names listed which serve particular purposes:
- Free-flow agents
- Bulking agents
- Anti-caking agents
- Thickeners and more
Many additives have long complex names abbreviated as coded numbers - assigned by the World's food standards organisation. Those strange alpha-numeric codes you see like E420, or Starch1440.
World Food Standards Organisations Have Standardised Additive Naming
There are now food standards organisations all around the world monitoring food ingedients.
The food additives’ names can be confusing so, to help reduce this confusion, each food additive has been given a code number. Many people like to know what these food additive codes stand for - also some choose to avoid certain food additives.
The lists below are produced by FOOD STANDARDS AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND (FSANZ) - and give you a way to check food labels as you shop, detailing what the food additive is and what it does. Thes numbers are the same all over the world - so people in the US, UK and elsewhere can use them.
- List of Food Additives sorted numerically: Food Additives - Numeric
- List of Food Additives sorted alphabetically: Food Additives - alphbetical
Print off both these lists and keep them for your reference.
I think I might have additive sensitivity: What should I do?
Beginning with our free e-book, we can help you establish if you are suffering from food additive sensitivity or if your symptoms indicate an intolerance to gluten, dairy, fructose or yeast. You may even be suffering from more than one food intolerance.
The research indicates that doing nothing can be a risk. Undiagnosed food intolerance can cause serious long-term health problems like osteoporosis, anaemia and many others.
To learn more – sign up for the free e-book ‘How To Tell If You have Food Intolerance’
RESEARCH & REFERENCES
All foodintol® information is based on research from peer-reviewed medical journals
Food Standards of Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food labelling lists
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