F O O D     A D D I T I V E S



COLORS  (E100-E181)


Num.   Name                                                   Comments                                                                            


E100*            Curcumin            Orange-yellow color, derived from the root of the curcuma (turmeric) plant of the ginger

family, but  can be artificially produced. Used in cheese, margarine, baked sweets and fish fingers.

E101*            Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Riboflavin-5'-phosphate            Vitamin B2 and yellow color, occurs naturally in

greenveges, eggs, milk, liver and kidney. Used in margarine and cheese.

E102            Tartrazine            FD&C Yellow No.5., commonly used color, the HACSG (Hyperactive Children's Support Group declares that the substance may cause allergic reactions) recommends to avoid it. Known to provoke asthma attacks (though the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) do not recognise this) and urticaria (nettle rash) in children (FDA estimates 1:10 000); also linked to thyroid tumors, chromozomal damage, urticaria (hives) and hyperactivity. Tatrazine sensitivity is also linked to aspirin sensiticity. Used to colour drinks, sweets, jams, cereals, snack foods, canned fish, packaged soups. Typical products are soft drinks, confectionary, cordials, pickles. Banned in Norway and Austria.

E104            Quinoline yellow         FD&C Yellow No.10. Used in lipsticks, hair products, colognes; also in wide range

of medications. Cause dermatitis. Banned in Australia, USA and Norway.

E107    Yellow 2G/7G  Yellow color, the HACSG recommends to avoid it. People who suffer asthma may also

show an allergic reaction to it. Typical products are soft drinks. Banned in Australia, USA.

E110*  Sunset yellow FCF, Orange Yellow S             FD&C Yellow No.6, synthetic. HACSG recommends to avoid it. Typical products are cordials, confectionary, packet soups.Used in cereals, bakery, sweets, snack foods, ice cream, drinks and canned fish; also in many medications including Berocca, Polaramine, Ventolin syrup. Side effects are urticaria (hives), rhinitis (runny nose), nasal congestion, allergies, swelling, hyperactivity, kidney tumors, chromosomal damage, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, distaste for food; seen increased incidence of tumours in animals. Banned in Norway.

E120*            Cochineal, Carminic acid, Carmines            Red color, made from insects, rarely used. HACSG recommends

to avoid it.

E122            Azorubine, Carmoisine            Red color, coal tar derivate. HACSG recommends to avoid it. Sensitive people, people allergic to aspirin and asthmatics may produce bad reactions to it. Typical products are confectionary, marzipan, jelly cristals. Banned in Sweden, USA, Australia and Norway

E123            Amaranth            FD&C Red No.2 (Purplish-red), derived from the small herbaceous plant of the same name. Used in cake mixes, fruit-flavoured fillings, jelly cristals. Can provoke asthma, eczema and hyperactivity; it causes birth defects and foetal deaths in some animal tests, possibly also cancer. Banned in the United States in 1976, Russia, Austria and Norway; still used in Australia. Avoid it!

E124            Brilliant scarlet 4R (Ponceau 4R), Cochineal Red A            FD&C Red No.4, synthetic coal tar and azo dye. Carcinogen in animals. Asthmatics and people with aspirin sensitivity may show bad reactions. The HACSG recommends to avoid it. Banned in USA and Norway.

E127            Erythrosine            FD&C Red No.3. Red color used in custard mix, biscuits, glace cherries, canned cherries and strawberries (canned fruit), sweets, bakery, snack foods. HACSG recommends to avoid it. Might increase thyroid hormone levels and lead to hyperthyroidism; was shown to cause thyroid cancer in rats in a study in 1990. Can cause sensitivity to light. Banned in January 1990, but not recalled by the US FDA; banned in Norway.

E128    Red 2G                   Banned in Australia and many other places except UK.

E129    Allura red AC            FD&C Red No.40. Synthetic orange-red color used in sweets, biscuits, cake mixes, fruit-flavoured fillings, drinks and condiments, medications and cosmetics. Introduced in the early eighties to replace amaranth which was considered not safe due to conflicting test results. Allura red has also been connected with cancer in mice. May be an allergen in allergic skin conditions. Banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Norway.

E131    Patent blue V  Banned in Australia, USA and Norway.

E132*            Indigotine, Indigo carmine            FD&C Blue No.2, synthetic coal tar derivative. Commonly added to tablets and capsules; also used in ice cream, sweets, baked goods, confectionary, biscuits. People with allergies should avoid it. May cause nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, skin rashes, breathing problems and other allergic reactions.

E133            Brilliant blue FCF            FC&D Blue Dye No.1, synthetic usually occuring as aluminium lake (solution) or ammonium salt. Used in dairy products, sweets and drinks. HACSG recommends to avoid it. Banned in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Norway.

E140            Chlorophyll                Green to olive color, occurs naturally in all plants, naturally part of man's diet. Used for dyeing waxes and oils, used in medicines.

E141            Copper complexes of chorophyll and chlorophyllins            Olive color, no adverse effects are known.

E142      Green S            Green color, seems safe in small quantities.

E150(a)   Plain caramel            Dark brown color made from sucrose. HACSG recommends to avoid it. Typical products are oyster, soy, fruit and caramel sauces, beer, whiskey, biscuitts, pickles.

E150(b)   Caustic sulphite caramel            See E150(a)

E150(c)   Ammonia caramel                       See E150(a)

E150(d)   Sulphite ammonia caramel             See E150(a)

E151     Brilliant black BN, Black PN                   Black color, coal tar derivative. Used in brown sauces, blackcurrant cake mixes. HACSG recommends to avoid it. Banned in Denmark, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, USA and Norway.

E153*            Vegetable carbon            Black color, charcoal pigment. Used in jams, jelly cristals, liquorice. Only the vegetable variety permitted in Australia, banned in USA

E154    Brown FK                   Not permitted in Australia, banned in USA.

E155            Chocolate brown HT            Brown color, coal tar and azo dye. Used in chocolate cake mixes. HACSG recommends to avoid it. Can produce bad reactions in asthmatics and people allergic to aspirin; also known to induce skin sensitivity. Banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, USA, Norway.

E160(a)*   Carotene, alpha-, beta-, gamma-            Orange-yellow colour. Human body converts it to vitamin A in the liver. Found in carrots and other yellow or orange fruits and vegetables.

E160(b)*   Annato (Arnatto, Annato), bixin, norbixin                      Red color (peach colour), derived from a tree (Bixa orellana). Used as a body paint, fabric dye, digestive aid and expectorant. Typical products are dairy products.Used to dye cheese, butter, margarine, cereales, snack foods, soaps, textiles and varnishes. Known to cause urticaria (nettle rash). HACSG recommends to avoid it.

E160(c)*   Paprika extract, capsanthin, capsorubin                 Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it, banned in some countries.

E160(d)*   Lycopene                    Red coloured carotenoid, found in tomatoes and pink grapefruit. Can cause decreasing risk of cancer. Not permitted in Australia.

E160(e)*   Beta-apo-8'-carotenal (C30)   Orange color, no adverse effects are known.

E160(f)*   Ethyl ester of beta-apo-8'-carotenic acid (C30)   Orange color, no adverse effects are known.

E161(b)    Xanthophylls - Lutein            Yellow color, derived from plants, naturally found in green leaves, marigolds and egg yolks. Unlikely to produce adverse effects.

E161(g)*  Xanthophylls - Canthaxanthin            Yellow/Orange color, possibly derived from animal sources (retinol). Pegment is found in some mushroms, crustacea, fish, flamingo feathers. No adverse effects are known.

E162     Beetroot red, Betanin            Purple color, derived from beets. No adverse effects are known.

E163     Anthocyanins              Violet color, matter of flowers and plants.  Seems safe.

E170* Calcium carbonate            Mineral salt, may be derived from rock mineral or animal bones. Used in toothpastes, white paint and cleaning powders. Sometimes used to deacidify wines and firm canned fruit and vegetables. Toxic at 'high doses'.

E171            Titanium dioxide            White color. Used in toothpaste and white paint, pollutes waterways. No adverse effects are known.

E172   Iron oxides and hydroxides            Black, yellow, red color. Used in salmon and shrimp pastes. Toxic at 'high doses'.

E173            Aluminium      Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E174    Silver               Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E175    Gold                Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E180            Latolrubine BK (Pigment rubine)            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E181    Tannic acid, tannins            Clarifying agent in alcoholic drinks, derived from the nutgalls and twigs of oak trees, occurs naturally in tea.


* Additives which are probably or definitely anymal (mostly pig) derivation.





Num.   Name                                                   Comments                                                                            


E200    Sorbic acid      Possible skin irritant.

E201     Sodium sorbate            No known adverse effects.

E202            Potassium sorbate            No known adverse effects.

E203            Calcium sorbate            No known adverse effects.

E210            Benzoic acid               HACSG recommends to avoid it. Typical products are soft drinks, juices, cordials, chilly pastes.

E211    Sodium benzoate            HACSG recommends to avoid it. Typical products same as E210.

E212            Potassium benzoate            People with a history of allergies may show allergic reactions. Typical products same as E210.

E213            Calcium benzoate                     See E212.

E214    Ethyl4-hydroxybenzoate            Not permitted in Australia.

E215    Sodium salt                              Not permitted in Australia.

E216            Propylparaben                                  Possible contact allergen.

E217            Propyl4-hydroxybenzoate            Not permitted in Australia.

E218            Methylparaben                      Allergic reactions possible, mainly affecting the skin.

E219            Methyl4-hydroxybenzoate            Not permitted in Australia.

E220            Sulphur dioxides            Produced by combustion of sulphur or gypsum. Typical products are raw fruits and vegetables, beer, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar, potato products. HACSG recommends to avoid it. May cause allergic reactions in asthmatics, destroys vitamin B1, difficult to metabolise for those with impaired kidney function.

E221    Sodium sulphite                      Decontaminating agent, used in fresh orange juice. See E220.

E222    Sodium bisulphite                    See E220.

E223    Sodium metabisulphite             Treating agent. See E220.

E224            Potassium metabisulphite             See E220.

E225            Potassium sulphite                      See E220.

E226            Calcium sulphite                      Avoid it. Banned in some countries. Not permitted in Australia.

E227            Calcium hydrogen sulphite             Avoid it. Banned in some countries. Not permitted in Australia.

E228            Potassium bisulphite                    See E220.

E230            Biphenyl, Diphenyl                     Can be used for agricultural purposes. Typical products are citrus fruit. Not permitted in Australia. Banned in some countries.

E231    2-Hydroxybiphenyl/Orthophenyl phenol            Can be used for agricutural puposes. Typical products are pears, carrots, peaches, plums, prunes, sweet potatoe, citrus fruit, pineapples, tomatoes, peppers, cherries, nectarines. Not permitted in Australia. Banned in some countries.

E232    Sodium biphenyl-2-oxide/Sodium orthophenyl phenol             See E231.

E233            Thiabendazole                      Can be used  for agricultural purposes. Typical products are citrus fruits, apples, pears, patatoes, bananas, mushrooms, meat, milk. Not permitted in Australia. Banned in some countries.

E234     Nisin                Antibiotic derived from bacteria. Found in beer, processed cheese products, tomato paste. Not known adverse effects.

E235            Natamycin            Mould inhibitor derived from bacteria. Sometimes used medically to treat candidiasis. Can cause nausea, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhoea and skin irritation. Typical products are meat, cheese.

E236    Formic acid                  Avoid it. Banned in some countries. Not permitted in Australia.

E237    Sodium formate            Avoid it. Banned in some countries. Not permitted in Australia.

E238            Calcium formate            Avoid it. Banned in some countries. Not permitted in Australia.

E239            Hexamine                   Avoid it. Banned in some countries. Not permitted in Australia.

E249            Potassium nitrite            Color fixative and curing agent for meet. Nitrites can effect the body's ability to carry oxygen, resulting in shortness of breath, dizziness and headaches. Not permitted in foods for infant and young children. Potential carcinogen.

E250    Sodium nitrite              See E249. Can combine with chemicals in stomach to form nitrosamine. May provoke hyperactivity and other adverse reactions. Potentially carcinogenic. Restricted in many countries.  HACSG recommends to avoid it.

E251    Sodium nitrate             See E250. Also used in the manufacture of nitric acid, as a fertiliser and in fermented meat products.

E252*            Potassium nitrate            See E249. May be derived from waste animal or vegetable matter. Used in gunpowder explosives and fertilisers, and in the preservation of meat. May provoke hyperactivity and other adverse reactions; potencially carcinogenic. Restricted in many countries.

E260     Acetic acid                  Main component of vinegar, synthetically produced from wood fibres. Used in pickles, chutneys and sauces. No known adverse effects.

E261            Potassium acetate            Food acid. Typical products are sauces, pickles. Should be avoided by people with impaired kidney function.

E262     Sodium diacetate, sodium acetate            Food acid, acidity regulator. No known adverse effects.

E263            Calcium acetate            Food acid, acidity regulator. By product in the manufacture of wood alcohol. Used to make acetic acid (vinegar) and in the production of dyers mordants.

E264            Amonium acetate            Can cause nausea and vomiting.

E270*  Lactic acid            Food acid, acidity regulator. Produced by heating and fermenting carbohydrates in milk whey, potatoes, cornstarch or molasses. Difficult for babies to metabolise. Typical products are infant formulas, confectionary, sweets, dressings, soft drinks, sometimes beer.

E280            Propionic acid                  Propionates occur naturally in fermented foods, human perspiration and ruminants digestive tract. Also can be derived commercially from ethylene and carbon monoxide or propionaldehyde or natural gas or fermented wood pulp. Produced when bacteria decompose fibre. Commonly used in bread and flour products. All propionates are thought to be linked with migraine headaches.

E281    Sodium propionate            May be linked to migraines. Typical productes are flour products.

E282            Calcium propionate            See E281.

E283            Potassium propionate            See E281.

E290    Carbon dioxide            Propellant coolant, derived from lime manufacture. May increase the effect of alcohol. Typical products are wine, soft drinks, confectionary.





Num.   Name                                                   Comments                                                                            


E296    DL-Malic acid                   Derived from fruit or synthetic. Infants and young children should avoid it.

E297            Fumaric acid               Derived from plants of the genus Fumaria esp. F.officianalis or from the fermentation of glucose with fungi. Can be used to flavour, acidify, as an antioxidant or raising agent used in soft drinks and cake mixes. No known adverse effects.

E300            Ascorbic acid              Vitamin C, flour treating agent. May be made synthetically from glucose. Naturally occurs in fruit and vegetables. Added to products as diverse as cured meat, breakfast cereals, frozen fish and wine.

E301     Sodium ascorbate            Sodium salt of vitamin C.

E302            Calcium ascorbate            Vitamin C. May increase the formation of calcium axalate stones.

E303            Potassium ascorbate            Potassium salt of vitamin C.

E304            Ascorbyl palmitate, Ascorbyl             Fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid. Same function as vitamin C (E300).

E306, E307, E308, E309   Tocopherols, alpha-, gamma-, delta-       Vitamin E. Found in many vegetable oils, including soy, wheat germ, rice germ, cottonseed, maize. Works as an antioxidant for fatty acids and tissue fats, preventing vitamin A from oxidation. Used in margarine and salad dressings.

E310    Propyl gallate             Derived from nutgalls. Used to prevent rancidity in oily substances Typical products are margarine, fats, oils, lard and salad dressings, sometimes used in packaging. Gallates are not permitted in foods for infants and small chidren because of their known tendency to cause the blood disorder, methemoglobinemia. May cause gastric or skin irritation.

E311    Octyl gallate             See E310.

E312            Dodecyl gallate             See E310.

E317            Erythorbic acid            Produced from sucrose. No known adverse effects.

E318     Sodium erythorbate            Produced from E317. No known adverse effects.

E319    Tert-ButylHydroQuinone (TBHQ)            Petroleum based. Typical products are fats, oils, margarine. HACSG recommends to avoid it. May cause nausea, vomiting, delirium. A dose of 5g is considered fatal.

E320            Butylated hydroxy-anisole (BHA)            Petroleum derivative, retards spoilage due to oxidation.Typical products are fats, edible oils, margarine, nuts, instant potato products, chewing gum, polyethylene food wraps.. HACSG recommends to avoid it. Not permitted in foods for infants or young chidren. Can provoke an allergic reaction in some people, may trigger hyperactivity and other intolerances. Serious concerns over carcinogenicity and estrogenic effects. In large doses caused tumors in lab animals. Banned in Japan in 1958. Official committees of experts recommended that it be banned in the UK, however due to industry pressure it was not banned. McDonald's eliminated BHT from their US products by 1986. See also Butil compounds.

E321            Butylated hydroxy-toluene (BHT)            Petroleum derivate. Typical products are nuts. HACSG recommend to avoid it. Not permitted in foods for infants or young chidren. See E320.

E322            Lecithins*                  Emulsifier derived from soy beans, egg yolks, peanuts, corn or animal resources.  Nutritious and non-toxic, but overdose can upset the stomach, kill the appetite and cause profuse sweting. Used to allow combination of oils in margarine, chocolate, mayonnaise, milk powder. Must be choosen vegetable type.

E325    Sodium lactate*            Derived from milk (lactic acid). May contain pork rennin or whey in process. Young children with lactose intolerance may show adverse reactions

E326*            Potassium lactate            See E325.

E327*            Calcium lactate            See E325.

E328*            Ammonium lactate            See E325.

E329*            Magnesium lactate            See E325.

E330     Citric acid                  Food acid, naturally derived from citrus fruit. Used in biscuits, canned fish, cheese and processed cheese products, infant formulas, cake and soup mixes, rye bread, soft drinks, fermented meat products.

E331     Sodium citrates            Food acid. No known adverse effects.

E332            Potassium citrates            Food acid. No known adverse effects.

E333            Calcium citrates            Food acid. No known adverse effects in small quantities.

E334            Tartaric acid               Food acid. No known adverse effects in small quantities.

E335     Sodium tartrates            Food acid. No known adverse effects.

E336            Potassium tartrates            Food acid. No known adverse effects.

E337     Sodium potassium tartrate            Food acid. No known adverse effects.

E338            Phosphoric acid            Food acid, derived from phosphate ore. Used in cheese products. No known adverse effects.

E339    Sodium orthophosphates            Mineral salt, used as a laxative and a fixing agent in textile dyeing.   High intakes may upset the calcium/phosphorus equilibrium.

E340            Potassium (ortho)phosphates            See E339.

E341*            Calcium (ortho)phosphates            Mineral salt found in rocks and bones. Used in medicines as an antacid and polishing agent in enamels. No known adverse effects.

E343            Magnesium phosphates            Essential minerals, anticaking agent found in salt substitutes.

E350     Sodium malates            No known adverse effects.

E351            Potassium malate            No known adverse effects.

E352            Calcium malates            No known adverse effects.

E353            Metatartaric acid            No known adverse effects.

E354            Calcium tartrate            Seems safe.

E355     Adipic acid                  Food acid from the root adipose (pertaining to fat?) No known adverse effects.

E357            Potassium adipate            No known adverse effects.

E363            Succinic acid            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E365     Sodium fumarate            Food acid, salt of fumaric acid (derived from plants of the genus Fumaria esp. F.officianalis). No known adverse effects.

E366            Potassium fumarate            No known adverse effects.

E367            Calcium fumarate            No known adverse effects.

E370    1,4-Heptonolactone            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E375    Niacin              Vitamin B3, naturally occurs in bean, pea and other legumes, milk, egg, meat, poultry and fish. At doses in excess of 1.000 mg per day can cause liver damage, diabetis, gastritis, eye damage, and elevated blood levels of uric acid (which can cause gout). At amounts as low as 50-100 mg may cause flushing (harmless but painful), headache and stomachache especially if taken on an empty stomach.

E380    Tri-ammonium citrate              May interfere with liver and pancreas function.

E381            Ammonium ferric citrates            Essential mineral, food acid derived from citric acid. Used as a dietary iron supplement in breakfast cereals and dietary formulas.

E385            Calcium disodium EDTA            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.



Num.   Name                                                   Comments                                                                            


E400    Alginic acid            Thickener and vegetable gum, derived from seaweed. Used in custard mix, cordials, flavoured milk, ice blocks, thickened cream and yoghurt.  No known adverse effects in small quantities. Large quantities can inhibit the absorption of some nutrients.

E401    Sodium alginate            See E400.

E402            Potassium alginate            See E400.

E403            Ammonium alginate            See E400.

E404            Calcium alginate            See E400.

E405            Propylene glycol alginate alginate            Thickener and vegetable gum, derived from petroleum. See separate entry.

E406    Agar                            Thickener and vegetable gum, derived from red seaweed. Sometimes used as a laxative. Found in manufactured meats and ice cream.  See E400.

E407            Carrageenan              A fibre extracted from seaweed.  It has recently been linked with cancer because it may become contaminated when ethylene oxyde is added to an inferior product - this results in ethylene chlorohydrin forming, a highly carcinogenic compound. Linked to toxic hazards, including ulcers and cancer. The most serious concerns relate to degraded carrageenan, which is not permitted additive. However native carrageenan, which is used, may become degraded in the gut.

E410    Locust bean gum            Derived from Carob or Locust bean tree Ceratonia siliqua. Used in lollies, cordials, essences, some flour products, dressings, fruit juice drinks. Frequently used as a caffeine-tree chocolate substitute. No known adverse effects in small quantities. May lower choleserol levels.

E412    Guar gum                 Derived from the seeds of Cyamoposis tetragonolobus of Indian origin. Fed to cattle in the USA. Can cause nausea, flatulence and cramps, may reduce the cholesterol levels. See E410.

E413            Tragacanth                 Resin form of the tree 'Astragalus gummifier'. Used in foods, drugs including nasal solutions, elexirs and tablets. Also used as a binder in cosmetics. Possible contact alergy.

E414    Acacia                         Derived from the sap of Acacia Sengal. Easily broken down by the human digestive system.  Possible allergen, soothes irritations of the mucous membranes.

E415            Xanthan gum              Derived from the fermentation of corn sugar with bacterium. No known adverse effects.

E416    Karaya gum                 Derived from the tree Sterculia urens. Often used in conjunction with Carob (E410), in ice cream, custard and sweets, as a filler for its capacity to multiply its volume by 100 times with the addition of water. Possible allergen.

E417     Tara gum            Derived from the Tara bush, Caesalpinia Spinosa, indigenous to Equador and Peru, grown in Kenya.

E420            Sorbitol            Artificial sweetener and humectant. Derived from glucose, either obtained from berries or synthesised.   Used in lollies, dried fruits, confectionary, pastries, low calorie foods, pharmacuetical syrups and opthalmic preparations and is the seventh most widely used preservative in cosmetics. Not permitted in foods for infants and young children, can cause gastric disturbance.

E421            Mannitol            Artificial sweetener and humectant. Derived from seaweed or the Manna ash tree. Typical products are low calorie foods. Possible allergen. Not permitted in infant foods due to its ability to cause diarrhea and kidney disfunction. Also may cause nausea and vomiting.

E422*            Glycerol/Glycerin            Humectant and sweetener, oily colourless alcohol. Derived by decomposition of natural fats with alkalis; usually as a by-product of soap making using animal fat or vegetable oil; can be obtained from petroleum products, sometimes synthesised from propylene or fermented from sugar. Used in flexible coatings on sausages and cheeses, also in crystallised and dried fruits, confectionary, low calory foods, liqueurs and vodka. "Glycerin has been shown to protect against DNA damage induced by tumor promoters, ultraviolet lights and radiation, presumably via free radical scavenging." Large quantities can cause headaches, thirst, nausea and high blood sugar levels.

E430*  ?                                  ?

E431*            Polyoxyethylene            ?

E432*            Polysorbate 20                    Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E433*            Polysorbate 80                    Emulsifiers, derived from animal fatty acids. Used as synthetic flavourings, surfactants, defoaming agents and dough conditioners. May increase the absorption of fat-suluble substances.

E434*            Polysorbate 40                    Not permitted in Australia.Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E435*            Polysorbate 60                    See E433.

E436*            Polysorbate 65                    See E433.

E440(a)            Pectin              Naturally occuring in the skins of apples. Used to thicken jams, jellyes and sauces. Large quantities may cause temporary flatulence or intestinal discomfort.

E440(b)            Amidated pectin            No known adverse effects.

E441*            Gelatine            Possible allergen. May contain E220. Asthmatics and people allergic to sulphites beware!!!

E442            Ammonium phosphatides            No known adverse effects.

E450    Sodium and potassium polyphosphatesDophosphates           High intakes may upset the calcium/phosphate equilibrium.

E460            Powdered cellulose            Anti-caking agent. No known adverse effects.

E461    Methyl cellulose            Can cause flatulence, distension, intestinal obstruction.

E463            Hydroxypropyl-cellulose            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E464            Hydroxypropyl-mathyl-cellulose            No known adverse effects.

E465            MethylEthylCellulose                      No known adverse effects.

E466            Carboxymethyl-cellulose, Sodium carboxymethyl-cellulose            No known adverse effects.

E469     Sodium caseinate            No known adverse effects.

E470*  Fatty acids salts            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E471*   Mono- and Diglycerides of fatty acids                No known adverse effects.

E472*   Fatty acid esters of glycerol            No known adverse effects.

E473*            Sucrose esters of fatty acids            No known adverse effects.

E474*            Sucroglycerides            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E475*            Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids            No known adverse effects.

E476*            Polyglycerol polyricinoleate                        No known adverse effects.

E477*            Propylene glycol esters of fatty acids            Derived from petroleum. No known adverse effects.

E478*  ?                                                          ?

E479(b)*  Thermally oxydised soya bean oil interacted with mono- and di-glicerides of fatty acids.               ?

E480    Dioctil sodium sulphosuccinate            Awaiting results of studies.

E481*   Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate                      No known adverse effects.

E482*            Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate                      No known adverse effects.

E483*  Stearyl tartrate                      Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E491*            Sorbitan monostearate              No known adverse effects.

E492*            Sorbitan tristearate                   May increase the absorption of fat-soluble substances.

E493*            Sorbitan monolaurate                Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E494*            Sorbitan mono-oleate              Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E495*            Sorbitan monopalmitate            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.




Num.   Name                                                   Comments                                                                            


E500     Sodium carbonates            No known adverse effects in small quantities.

E501            Potassium carbonates            No known adverse effects.

E503            Ammonium carbonates            Irritant to mucous membranes.

E504            Magnesium carbonate                   Medically used as an antiacid and laxative.

E507            Hydrochloric acid            Safe in small quantities.

E508            Potassium chloride            Large quantities can cause gastric ulceration.

E509            Calcium chloride            Derived from brine. No known adverse effects.

E510            Ammonium chloride            Typical products are flour products. Should be avoided by people with impaired liver or kidney function.

E511            Magnesium chloride            Magnesium is an essential mineral.

E513            Sulphuric acid                        Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E514    Sodium sulphate            May upset the body's water balance.

E515            Potassium sulphate            No known adverse effects.

E516            Calcium sulphate            Derived from limestone. No known adverse effects.

E518            Magnesium sulphate            A laxative.

E519            Copper sulphate            Essential mineral.


E524    Sodium hydroxide            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E525            Potassium hydroxide            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E526            Calcium hydroxide            No adverse effects in small quantities.

E527            Ammonium hydroxide                   Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E528            Magnesium hydroxide                   Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E529            Calcium oxide               Safe in small quantities.

E530            Magnesium oxide            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E535     Sodium ferrocyanide            No adverse effects are known.

E536            Potassium ferrocyanide            By-product of coal gas production. Low toxicity.

E540            Dicalcium diphosphate                           Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E541    Sodium aluminium phosphate                   Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E542*   Bone phosphate            Derived from bones. Used in dried milk for coffeе machines. No known adverse effects.

E544    Calcium polyphosphates            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E545    Ammonium polyphosphates            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E551     Silicon dioxide                        No adverse effects are known in food use.

E552            Calcium silicate            Derived from limestone and diatomaceous earth (the silicified skeletons of diatoms, a single celled plankton). Antiacid. No known adverse effects.

E553(a)   Magnesium silicates                      Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E553(b)   Talc             Typical products are polished rice, chocolate, confectionary. Has been linked to stomach cancer.

E554    Sodium aluminium silicate            Used in salt, dried milk substitutes and flours. Aluminium is known to be neurotoxic, and also to cause placental problems in pregnancy and has been linked to Alzheimer's.

E556            Calcium aluminium silicate            Derived from minerals. Used in milk powders. See E554.

E558            Bentonite                    No known adverse effects.

E559            Aluminium silicate (Kaolin)            No known adverse effects.

E570*   Stearic acid                  Possibly of animal origin. See stearates. No known adverse effects.

E572*            Magnesium stearate                      No known adverse effects in food use.

E575            Glucono delta-lactone                        No known adverse effects.

E576    Sodium gluconate            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E577            Potassium gluconate                   No known adverse effects.

E578            Calcium gluconate                   No known adverse effects.

E579            Ferrous gluconate            Colour-retention agent, derived from iron and glucose. Used in olives and in iron supplements. Seems safe in small quatities.

E585            Ferrous lactate                         ?



Num.   Name                                                   Comments                                                                            


E620*  L-Glutamic acid            Flavour inhancer, salt substitute; amino acid present in many animal and vegetable proteins, derived commercially from bacteria. Might cause similar problems as MSG (E621). Young children should avoid it.

E621            Monosodium glutamate (MSG)            Flavour enhancer derived from the fermentation of molasses, salt substitute. Typical products are canned vegetables, canned tuna, dressings, many frozen foods. Adverse efects appear in some asthmatic people. Can be an ellergen. Not permitted in foods for infants and young children.

E622            Monopotassium glutamate            Typical products are low sodium salt substitutes. Can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps.

E623            Calcium diglutamate            Salt substitute. No known adverse effects.

E624            Monoamonium L-glutamate            Salt substitute. No known adverse effects.

E625            Magnesium di-L-glutamate            Salt substitute. No known adverse effects.

E626            Guanylic acid              May trigger gout.

E627            Disodium guanylate            Isolated  from sardines or yeast extract. May trigger gout. Not permitted in foods for infants and young children.

E629            Calcium guanylate            May trigger gout.

E631*            Disodium inosinate            May be prepared from meat or sardines. May trigger gout. Not permitted in foods for infants and young children.

E633            Calcium inosinate            May trigger gout.

E635*  Sodium 5'ribonucleotide            Typical foods include flavoured chips, instant noodles and party pies. May be associated with itchy skin rashes up to 30 hours after ingestion; rashes may vary from mild to dramatic. The reaction is dose-related and cumulative, some individuals are more sensitive than others. Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E636     Maltol             Derived from bark of larch trees, pine needles, chicory wood, oils and roasted malt. It may be produced synthetically.  No known adverse efects.

E637     Ethyl maltol              Derived from maltol. No known adverse efects.

E640*            Glycine & its sodium salt                              ?





Num.   Name                                                   Comments                                                                            


E900            Dimethyl poly-siloxane                       Silicone based. No known adverse effects.

E901*            Beeswaxes     Glazing agent, used to wax fruit. See bee products. Occasionally cause allergic reactions.

E903            Carnauba wax            Derived from South American palm. Used in cosmetics and inks, and to wax fruit.  Occasionally causes allergic reactions.

E904*  Shellac             Derived from insects. Occasionally causes irritations of the skin.

E905*            Paraffins, Microcrystalline wax            Used on sweets, in processing yeast, vitamin tablets, dried fruit, confectionary, collagen. May inhibit absorption of fats and fat soluble vitamins; mild laxative. There may be a link to bowel cancer.

E907*            Refined microcristalline wax            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E913*            Lanolin            Derived from sheep wool.

E920*  L-Cystein and its hydrochlorides            Flour treatment agent, derived from animal hair and chicken feathers. No known adverse effects.

E921*  L-Cystin              See E920.

E924            Potassium bromate            Typical products are flour products. Large quantities can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain.

E925            Chlorine            Typical products are flour products. Destroys nutrients; carcinogen. In some areas tab water is contaminated with it, to make it 'safer' to drink.

E926            Chlorine dioxide            Well ..... basically see E925.

E927            Azodicarbonamide            Not permitted in Australia. Avoid it. Banned in some countries.

E928    Benzol peroxide            Approved by FDA for bleaching the carotenoides in refined flours. Asthmatics and people with a history of allergies BEWARE. See E210.

E931            Nitrogen            Used in freezing and vacuum packing. Seems safe.

E932            Nitrous oxide            Seems quite safe in small quantities.

E950            Acesulphane potassium                   ???

E951*            Aspartame            Artificial sweetener. Too many adverse effects possible to list !!! Some people are allergic to aspartame, migraine headaches are common reaction in those people.

E952            Cyclamic acid              Calcium & sodium cyclamate, artificial sweetener. Known to cause migraines and other reactions. Possible carcinogen. Caused damage on rats testicles and mouse embryos in tests. Not permitted in the USA and UK, due to its links with cancer.

E954            Saccharines            Calcium & sodium saccharin, artificial sweetener, derived from toluene (a known carcinogen). Banned in 1977 in the US, but reinstated subject to strict labelling starting: "Use of this product may be hazardous to your health, this product contains saccharin which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals."  Not too bad in small amounts, I think.

E957            Thaumatin            Artificial sweetener, a protein derived from the tropical plant Thaumococcus danielli. Used to sweeten wines, bread and fruit.  Put it that way .... the 'acceptable' daily intake has not been specified.

E965            Maltitol, Hydrogenated glucose syrup               Humectant, starch decomposed with digestive enzymes. Used in confectionary, dried fruits, low-joule foods. Mild laxative (laxative in high concentrations).

E967    Xylitol              Humectant. Found in raspberries, plums, lettuce and endives, though produced for commercial purposes from wood pulp. Used in low-joule foods and carbohydrate modified sweets, icec ream and jams. Caused kidney stones and diuretic effect on test rats - a waste of time and the lives of the rats, for the JEFCA in 1983 ruled the tests invalid in relation to humans, the symptoms caused by 'physiological disturbances' in rats! We can only imagine what conditions led to upset rats.  Nobody knows.

E999            Quillaia extract            Foaming agent, emulsifier, natural surfactant. Dericed from Chilean soap bark tree (Quillaia Saponaria). Used in beer and soda. Known to promote healing and reduce excessive oilness in the skin.

E1100*            Amylase            Derived from mold mushroom or pig pancreas.

E1200            Polydextrose            Seems safe in small doses.

E1201            Polyvinyl pyrrolidone            Dispersing agent, coating for tablets. Used in artificial sweeteners. No adverse effects are know.

E1202            Polyvinyl polypyrolidone            Clarrifying agent for wine, colour and colloidal stabiliser. No adverse effects are know.

E1400-1450            Starches            No known adverse effects.

E1505            Triethyl acetate            Part becomes alcohol in the body.

E1510            Ethanol                       Alcohol.

E1517, E1518*            Glycerol acetates            Humectant and solvent, derived from glycerol. Used to coat fresh fruit in the US. Seems safe.

E1520            Propylene glycol            Humectant, wetting agent, dispersing agent, petroleum based. Its glycerin like taste has made it popular for children's medications and other elixirs. Used in many topical creams and ointments, cosmetics, hair products and deodorants. Has been linked with fatal heart attacks (when given intravenously), central nervous system depression and cosmetic pharmaceutical cantact dermatitis. Toxic at 'high doses'.





Name                                                                      Comments                                                                            



Ambergris*            Derived from whale.

Arachidonic acid            Derived from liver, brain, animal origin gland or oil.

Aronia             Derived from Aronia arbutifolia. Used as a taste expander in jelly, pudding, powdered deserts, yoghurt, milk deserts, creams, homogenised cheeses, confectionary products, crispy cakes, fruit creams, ice-creams, and instant beverages.

Aspartic acid*             Derived from aspartame (see E951).

Betaine*            Derived from oil.

Biotin              Colourless crystalline growth vitamin of the vitamin B complex. Found especially in yeast, liver and egg yolk. No side effects are known, it is been tested.

Caffeine            An alkaloid that exists naturally in tea, kola nut and coffee. Clearly toxic in high doses. Can cause heart palpitations, high blood pressure, vomiting, convultions, headache, diarrhea, frequent urination, dehydratation, insomnia, stomach cramps, hand tremors, muscle twitches. Acts as a laxative, also saps the body's supply of calcium. Used as a mild stimulant in moderation.

Casein            Phosphoprotein of milk, which has a molecular structure that is extremely similar to that of gluten. Celiac people have to avoid it.

Catalase*                    Derived from cattle liver.


Cinnamon                    Spice, made from bark. May be allergic.

Citrus Red No.2            Cancer in animals. Used for dying skins of oranges.

Civet*                         Derived from cat.

Clove Bud Oil    Natural essential oil, steamed-distilled from clove buds (syzygium atmaticum). May be allergic.

Colin bitartrate*            Animal origin tissue.



Erythritol*   Produced through a fermentation process that begins with dextrose (a simple sugar, derived from corn starch), also derived from calf stomach. Used as a sweetener for beverages and confectionary products.

Ethyl Vanilin            A perfumy artificial vanilla flavouring. It is 31/2 times more powerful than the real thing and cheaper too - this explains why manufacturers like to use it in soft drinks, ice-creams and baked goods. Generally recognized as safe.

Evans Blue CI Direct Blue 53                    Contact dermatitis.

FD&C Green No.3 Fast Green              Bladder tumors.

FD&C Red No.102 New Coccine            It is an allergen. Not permitted to use for foods.

FD&C Yellow No.11              Contact dermatitis.

Fructose                      This carbohydrate and simple sugar (monosaccharide) occurs naturally in honey and fresh fruits. Commercial bakers use it in cakes, breads and cookies to make them brown better.

Gentian Violet CI Basic Violet No.3            Contact dermatitis.

Glucuronolactone, Glucuronic acid*            A naturally occuring substance in the body, made in the liver from glucose. Helps to stimulate the metabolism and thus helps to detoxify the body. Also occurs in plants, mainly in gums. Also an important constituent of fibrous and connective tissues in all animals.

Glycerides            Components of fats. Used to stabilise sausages, lard, vegetable oils, margarines and shortenings. The most widely used of them is monoglyceride citrate, although the FDA imposes strict limits.


Gliadin             Wheat is the first consideration. It is a major ingredient in breads, rolls, pastry, cakes, cookies and most baked products. Noodles, macaroni and spaghetti are typically made with wheat. Celiac people have to avoid it.

Guaiacol            Has been used for decades in compounded products as an expectorant.


Hygrolyzed Vegatable Protein (HVP)              Cereal gluten. Glutens are proteins found in the plant kingdom subclass of monocotyledonae (monocots). These plants are members of the grass family of wheat, oat, barley, rye and triticale and their derivatives (derivatives include: malt, grain starches, hydrolized vegetable/plant proteins, textured vegetable proteins, grain vinegars, soy sauce, grain alcohol, flavourings and the binders and fillers found in vitamins and medications). Celiac people have to avoid it. Celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy) is a chronic disease in which malabsorption of nutrients is caused by characteristic lesion of the small intestine mucosa. Used in smallgoods, packaged convenience foods, gravies and many canned products. It is also present in excipients in pharmaceutical preparations, particularly vitamin and mineral supplements.

Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP)            Same as HVP.

Keratin*            Derived from nail or hair.

Lipid, Lipoid*            

Lysin-L*, Lysin-DL*                 Same as erythritol.

Maltodextrin, Mdltrin                      Natural, complex carbohydrate. It is not a simple sugar (dextrose, fructose, sucrose etc). Can be derived from potato or corn starch. Used in food industry such as sweets, drink, beer, ice cream, preserved fruit, milk powder, malted mild, cake, biscuit and bread, as well as in medecine, textile printing and dyeing, paper making, casting, and petroleum drilling. Generally recognized as safe.

Menthol            Crystalline alcohol that occurs especially in mint oils, has the sharp fragrance and cooling properties of peppermint. May be allergic.

Metionine*            Derived from protein.

Neutral Red            Contact dermatitis.

Nucleyc acid            Derived from cells.

Oleamine, Oleic acid*               

Rennet*            Cheese yeast, derived from calf stomach.


Palmitic acid*             



Phenylalanine, Phenylanine            Essential amino acid. The body uses it to produce some hormones (epinephrine, norepinephrine, thyroxine, cholecystokinin) and melanin (a brown skin pigment). Cholecystokinin causes suppression of the appetite (this may be used to sports people who need to reduce body fat or maintain a certain weight). Pain relieving effects of phenylanine may be of use to athletic people who experience pain due to muscle, ligament, joint and tendon injury, inflamation and spasms which commonly result from intense exercise.

Phenylephrine             Decongestant which helps relieve nasal congestion. Used in pharmacy. Side effects are nausea, stomach upset, loss of appetite, nervousness, restlessness, dizziness, headache, chest pain, rapid heart rate, anxiety, fear, difficult or painful urination and sleeplessness.

Phospholipide*            Cheese yeast.


PolyVinylPolyPyrrolidone, PVPP            White powder added to beer for removing phenolic compounds, then beer is clear and has long shelf life.


Salicylate            Salt of salicylic acid. Used in candies, pies, soft drinks and sweet rolls.

Quinine dihydrochloride, Quinine sulfate            Toxic alkaloid, extracted from the bark of chinchona tree. Used as flavourings in carbonated beverages (primarily bitter lemon and tonic water), bitters and as a treatment for malaria. Side effects are headache, nausea, ringing in the ears and blurred vision. FDA strictly limits the amounts of it that can be used.

Taurine            Nonessential amino acid. Produced by synthesis of the amino acids methionine and cysteine in the liver, vitamin B6 helps the process. Diabetic and hypoglycaemic patients should use taurine under medical supervision as it may have an effect on insulin activity. Excessive consumption of taurine may rezult in diarrhea and peptic ulcer formation.

Thiamine            A source of vitamin B1. Functions as a coenzyme in energy metabolism. Keeps appetite, digestive tract and nervous system healthy. Adverse effects in high doses are headache, irritability, rapid pulse, trembling and weakness.

Thimerosal            Very effective preservative that contains mercury and  has been used in some vaccines and other products. FDA estimates that it is used in more than 30 licensed vaccines and biologics. Mercury is excreted from the body over time. Nervous system is very sensitive to all forms of mercury, methylmercury and metal vapors are more harmful than other forms. Exposure to high levels of metallic, inorganic or organic mercury can permanently damage the brain, kidneys and developing fetus; efects on brain functioning may result in irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing and memory problems.

Torula             High-protein, derived from wood sugars as a by-product of the pulping process in paper making. Type S is used in baby food and cereals, type F is used in feed supplements for cattle, fish and chickens. Allergen for hay fever and asthma.

Zinc            Essential element for humans. Naturally occurs in meat (especially liver), fish (especially shellfish), lentils, green leafy vegetables, whole cereals (including wheat germ), brewer's yeast, cheese, milk, nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds. Toxic doses of zink cause vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, stomach irritation, depressed immune function and anemia. Excessive zink doses may decrease the level of HDL ("good") cholesterol and increase the risk for heart disease.



Food additives are chemicals used at home or by the food industry to improve the taste, color, texture, and longevity of food. Food preservation with salt, smoke, spices, and sugars is the origin of food additive technology. Commercial food additives are regulated in the USA by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Food additives tend to receive the most detailed scientific attention because of regulatory scrutiny. A brief discussion of the more popular additives will serve to illustrate potential health problems.


Name                                                                      Comments                                                                            


Acesulfame K             Known commercially as Sunette or Sweet One, acesulfame is a sugar substitute sold in packet or tablet form, in chewing gum, dry mixes for beverages, instant coffee and tea, gelatin deserts, puddings and non-dairy creamers. Tests show that the additive causes cancer in animals, which means it may increase cancer in humans. Avoid acesulfame K and products containing it.

Artificial colorings            The great bulk of artificial colorings used in food are synthetic dyes. For decades synthetic food dyes have been suspected of being toxic or carcinogenic and many have been banned. Whenever possible, choose foods without dyes. They're mostly used in foods of questionable nutrition worth anyway. Natural ingredients should provide all color your food needs.                                                                           Food colors and preservatives have been suspected of producing allegic reactions, and behavioral disturbance. Their exclusion was part of Dr.Feingold's program for treating hyperactive chidren. Food colors are used liberally in all commercial food manufacture and have been popular in home use.                              The yellow dye, tatrazinea and the preservative, benzoate can cause hives (urticaria). In the study of hyperactive children by Egger et al, tatrazine and benzoate were the most common substances to provoke abnormal behavior in children, although they were never the only cause of behavioral problems. Tatrazine is a yellow food color, common in a wide variety of manufactured food products. Tatrazine produces symptoms typically within 90 minutes of eating, a variety of symptoms, including asthma, hives, generalized swellin, headache, and behavior change, usually hyperactivity.                                        Colors derived from natural plant and animal sources are usually exempt from FDA control in the US and are generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Beet pigment, beta-corotene, grape skin extract, paprika, saffron, turmeric, and vegetable juice are example of GRAS colors. While these substances are not known to be toxic or carcinogenic, there is no assurance that they are not allergenic or otherwise troublesome to some people. Certified colors are approved by the Food Drug and Cosmetic act and bear the certification name FD&C Red No.2 and so on. Tatrazine is FD&C Yellow No.15. Of the nine colors currently certified, seven may be used in amounts consistent with good manufacturing practice.

Aspartame            This sugar substitute, sold commercially as Equal and NutraSweet, was hailed as the savior for dieters who for decades had put up with saccharine's unpleasant after taste. Phenylketonuria (PKU) is the inability to metabolize phenylalanine, one of the two amino acids in aspartame. Toxic levels of this substance in the blood can result in mental retardation. Aspartame might cause altered brain function and behavior changes in consumers. And many people have reported dizziness, headaches, epileptic-like seizures, and menstrual problems after ingesting aspartame. Avoid aspartame if you are pregnant, suffer from PKU, or think that you experience side affects from using it. If you consume more than a couple of servings a day consider cutting back. And, to be on the the safe side, don't give aspartame to infants.             Aspartame contains two aminoacids: phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Large amounts of aspartame may be a problem for people with known phenylalanine intolerance. Excess phenylanine could affect brain function adversely by increasing excitability of brain cells and, in the worse case, promoting seizures. There are reports of allergic reactions to aspartame.

BHA & BHT            These two closely related chemicals are added to oil-containing foods to prevent oxidation and retard rancidity. The international Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, consider BHA to be possibly carcinogenic to humans, and the State of California has listed it as a carcinogen. Some studies show the same cancer causing possibilities for BHT. BHT and BHA are totally unnecessary. To avoid them read the label. Because of the possibility that BHT and BHA might cause cancer, both should be phased out of our food supply. To play it safe, phase them out of your diet.

Caffeine            Caffeine is found naturally in tea, coffee and cocoa. It is also added to many soft drinks. It is one of the few drugs - a stimulant - added to foods. Caffeine promotes stomach-acid secretion (possibly increasing the symptoms of peptic ulcers), temporarily raises blood pressure, and dilates some blood vessels while constricting others. Excessive caffeine intake results in "caffeinism", with symptoms ranging from nervousness to insomnia. These problems also affect children who drink between 2 to 7 cans of soda a day. Caffeine may also interfere with reproduction and affect developping fetuses. Experiments on lab animals link caffeine to birth defects such as cleft palates, missing fingers and toes, and skull malformations. Caffeine is mildly addictive, which is why some people experience headaches when they stop drinking it. While small amounts of caffeine don't pose problem for everyone. Avoid it if you are trying to become  or are pregnant. And try to keep caffeine out of you child's diet.

MonoSodium Glutamate (MSG)            Early in this century a Japanese chemist identified MSG as the substance in certain seasonings that added to the flavour of protein-containing foods. Unfortunately, too much MSG can lead to headaches, tightness in the chest, and a burning sensation in the forearms and the back of the neck. If you think you are sensitive to MSG, look at ingredient listings. Also, avoid hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), which may contain MSG.                                                                                                   Monosodium glutamate, well known as MSG, is perhaps the most vilified of additives. MSG is blamed for almost everything that goes wrong in a Chinese restaurant, and many people scan food product labels, rejecting any displaying MSG. Glutamate is amino acid normally continuously present in all our cells  and always available in the blood. Sudden absorption of large amount of MSG will act in a negative fashion. A rapid rise in blood glutamate may activate receptors which ring allarms, causing the headache and shooting pains that are associated with MSG. A variety of other symptoms are commenly reported, including flushing, numbness and tingling, chest pains, fast heart action, abdominal pains and behavior changes that include irritability, hyperactivity, and angry outbursts. In pure form, we would not expect MSG to trigger allergic effects. MSG products may contain allergenic contaminants from the vegetable source including corn, beets, and wheat. Often MSG is mixed with an enzyme in commercial food enhancers such as "Accent". The most common enzyme is Papain, derived from Papaya. Papain is a protein allergen. It is possible that MSG is often blamed for the allergenicity of papin. Papain may be injected into ruptured intervertebral discs as an alternative to back surgery. The injection is potentially dangerous if the patient has been previously sensitized by ingestion.

Nitrite and Nitrate            Sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate are two closely related chemicals used for centuries to preserve meat. While nitrate itself is harmless, it is readily converted to nitrite. When nitrite combines with compounds called secondary amines, it forms nitrosamines, extremely powerful cancer-causing chemicals. The chemical reaction occurs most readily at the high temperatures of frying. Nitrite has long been suspected a cause of stomach cancer. Look for nitrite-free processed meats - some of which are frozen, refrigeration reduces the need for nitrites - at some health food and grocery stores. But regardless of the presence of nitrite or nitrosamines, the high-fat, high-sodium content of most processed meats should be enough to discourage you from choosing them. And don't cook with bacon drippings.                                              Several chemicals, used as food additives, are also found in many foods. Nitrates and nitrites are ubiquitous in plants. They form part of the essential chemistry of soils and plants. As every gardener knows, nitrogen is essential for plant growth; nitrogen fertilizers, containing nitrates, are the most abundant agricultural chemicals. Beets, radishes, spinach, and lettuce contain the highest levels of nitrates. Daily consumption is estimated to be in the range of 100 mg/day. Nitrites are less common in the food supply, but are produced in the mouth and intestine by bacterial action on protein and nitrates. Daily intake is in the range of 2-3 mg/day. Nitrites, usually as sodium salts, have been used widely as preservatives, especially in bacon and other processed meats. Saltpeter is the best known nitrite with its undeserved reputation as sex-drive inhibitor. Nitrites also occur naturally in foods. The chief concern is the ability of the nitrites to combine with amino acids in GIT (Gastro-Intestinal Tract) to form nitrosamines, potentially carcinogenic molecules. Vitamin C inhibits nitrosamine formation and is thought to protect against GIT cancer. Vitamin C is an antioxidant preservative, and can replace less desirable preservatives in some foods. Tobacco smoke is the major source of human exposure to nitrosamines.

Olestra                        Olestra, the fake fat recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is both dangerous and unnecessary. Olestra was approved over the objection of dozens of leading scientists. The additive may be fat-free but it has a fatal side-effect: it attaches to valuable nutrients and flushes them out of the body. Some of these nutrients - called carotenoids - appear to protect us from such deseases as lung cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. The Harvard School of Public Health states that "the long-term consumption of olestra snack foods might therefore result in several thousand unnecessary deaths each year from lung and prostate cancers and heart disease, and hundred of additional cases of blidness in the elderly due to macular degeneration. Besides contributing to disease, olestra causes diarrhea and other serious gastrointestinal problems, even at low doses". FDA certified olestra despite the fact that there are safe low-fat snacks already on the market. There is no evidence to show that olestra will have any significant effect on reducing obesity in America. Despite being approved  as safe by the FDA, all snacks containing olestra must carry a warning label (similar to one found on cigarettes) that states: "This product contains olestra. Olestra may cause abdominal cramping and loose stools. Olestra inhibits the absorption of some vitamins and other nutrients. Vitamins A, D, E and K have been added."  CSPI advises consumers to avoid all olestra foods, and urges major food manufacturers not to make olestra-containing products. Pringle's Potato Chips, made by Procter & Gamble, will probably be the first snack food made with olestra.

Saccharin            Several studies in the 70's linked saccharin with cancer in laboratory animals. Avoid it. Sweetener packets and cans of saccharin-containing diet bear warning labels: "Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals." Why not heed the warning?

Salicylates            Salicylates are common in vegetables and fruit. Medicinal salicylates came from plant sources such as willow-bark methylsalicylate. As oil of wintergreen, methylsalicylate has been rubbed on many cold-stricken chests and inhaled by coughing children for many years. Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), or aspirin, is one of the most popular and useful drugs of all times. ASA is an effective drug, with diverse benefits, but it routinely causes GIT irritation and bleeding. It is a good allergen and causes many rashes and hives. Salicylates occasionally trigger asthma. Dr.Feingold postulated that salicylates and food dyes produced hyperactivity in children, popularizing low salicylate diets. Feingold recommended avoiding foods that contained natural salicylates or chemically similar substances. His lists excluded such foods as peaches and cucumber, for example, which are low in our list of symptom-producing foods.

Sulfites                        Sulfites are a class of chemicals that can keep cut fruit and vegetables looking fresh. They also prevent discoloration in apricots, raisins, and other dried fruits; control "black spot" in freshly caught shrimp; and prevent discoloration, bacterial growth, and fermantation in wine. Until the early 80's they were considered safe, but CSPI found six scientific studies proving that sulfites could provoke sometimes severe allergic reactions. CSPI and FDA identified at least a dozen fatalities linked to sulfites. All of the deaths occurred among asthmatics. In 1985 Congress finally forced FDA to ban sulfites from most fruits and vegetables. Especially if you have asthma, be sure to consider whether your attacks might be related to sulfites. The ban does not cover fresh-cut potatoes, dried fruits, and wine.                                                                Sulfites (sulphites) are used as a bleaching, antioxidant, and preserving additives in food. Sulfites have been implicated as allergens. A typical sulfite reaction involves flushing, dizziness, shortness of breath or wheezing. Asthmatic attacks can be provoked by sulfites and a few deaths have been attributted to them. Sulfite sprays have been widely used on fresh products in stores and restaurants to prevent browning with air exposure. French-fried potatoes are also treated this way. As preservatives, sulfites were found in processed food, alcoholic beverages (wines and beer), and drugs. Even aerosols used to treat asthmatics contained sulfites as preservatives! The increased notoriety of sulfites in 1985 led new regulations limiting their use. The FDA has banned the use of six sulfite preservatives in fresh fruit and vegetables. The ban still permits manufacturers of processed foods, dried fruits, wines and beer to use sulfites, although, if these manufacturers are prudent, they will voluntarily restrain or curtail sulfite use.