Food Additives in Processed Foods

Children's Food Sensitivity? Food Additives

Some people have an adverse response to food additives - less than 1% - (frequently children reacting to food colours). However - food additives are often wrongly blamed for reactions. When people react badly to foods - it is much more likely they reacting to food toxins.

Delayed reactions confuse sufferers


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:

  • Good product appearance: Manufacturers need to make the food look appealing - so people will buy them - so Colours and Emulsifiers are used extensively to achieve good appearance.
  • Ease of Packaging: Foods are manufactured in bulk - so they need to be poured or pushed into packaging like vacuum-sealed bags, cans, packets etc. Free-flow agents and anti-caking agents help to achieve this for manufacturers.
  • Extended Shelf-Life: whether refrigerated or 'dry goods' - most processed foods have to last some time before being purchased and eaten. Therefore they contain preservatives - anything from hydrogen sulphate to salt.


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:

      • Preservatives
      • Emulsifiers
      • Free-flow agents
      • Bulking agents
      • Sweeteners
      • 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.

 Print off both these lists and keep them for your reference.


I think I might have additive sensitivity: What should I do?

Begin with our free e-book. Undiagnosed food intolerance can cause serious long-term health problems like osteoporosis, anaemia and many others.

Learn more with the Free ebook about Food Toxins





All foodintol® information is based on research from peer-reviewed medical journals