For today’s post i decided to do some research on everyday food products we buy in the supermarket and the chemical additives they contain. Additives are used in processed products for a variety of different reasons including acting as an emulsifier, extending the shelf life of a product, adding colour, boosting flavours and changing the texture. Below I’ve chosen products at random to include various items people buy on a regular basis such as Milo, Diet Soft drink and Peanut Butter.
Emulsifier (soy Lechithin) E322
– Helps to stabilise emulsions, extending shelf life.
– Allows fats and oils to mix
Considered safe although Soy is a common food allergen and Soy is a mostly GMO food.
Shapes Light & Crispy Snack Pack – Food Acid E327
Calcium Lactate – Particularly used in tinned fruits and vegetables where it inhibits discolouration and helps prevent the structural collapse of the food, should not be given to babies and small children, as they have not yet developed the appropriate enzymes in the liver to metabolise these forms of lactate.
Cheese Flavoured Corn Nuggets- Food Acid 330
Citric Acid. Used as an acidity regulator, antioxidant, flavour enhancer and preservative.
It is believed to be possible that not all sulphites are properly filtered out and could affect some people with a sensitivity to sulphites. There is also a possibility for citric acid intollerance.
Coles Original Toasted Meusli- Preservative 220
Sulphur Dioxide. Used as preservative, bleaching agent and flour treatment agent.
Is believed to trigger asthma attacks in some cases.
Kraft Crunchy Peanut Butter- Antioxidant 320
Butylated Hydroxyarisole (BHA). Used as and antioxidant preservative.
Believed by some to be a possible human carcinogen.
Found in Diet Soft Drinks, or as We call them in the Health industry, A can of Chemicals. Just have a look at the amount of chemical additives they contain. They are marketed to be sugar-free and better for your health, but the long-term effects of these additives have been well-researched. I often name sugar sweeteners as sugars on steroids, as they have the potential to cause chronic diseases with long-term use including Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers and osteoporosis. Below is a snap shot of Diet Coke:
Links to potential migraines, fatigue, anxiety and cancer
-Sweetners #951, 950
sweetener without sugar
#950 Acesulphama Potassium K
Not a lot of effects identified, although known to increase cholesterol levels in the blood
#150D – Caramel Colour Class 4 or Sulfite Ammonia Caramel
Water-soluble food colouring. Also serves as an emulsifier in carbonated drinks to prevent the separation of flavour oils.
Linked to gastrointestinal disturbances, asthma and possible increase in blood pressure. Also suggested that it increases cancer risk, however the estimated consumption would need to be more than 1000 cans per day. Caramel can be derived from wheat, barley and lactose so can cause concerns for people with allergies to these substances.
#338 – Phosphoric Acid
Used to acidify foods and drinks also to provide a tangy flavour.
Linked to low bone density, chronic kidney disease and kidney stones. However only a small fraction of Phosphoric Acid comes from soft drinks, it is mostly ingested from meat and dairy products.
#330 – Citric acid
Used as a preservative and to provide a citrus flavor.
Naturally derived from citrus fruits.
No adverse effects reported as a preservative. High doses can cause gastrointestinal upset.
#950 – Acesulphame Potassium
May increase cholesterol and has caused cancer and tumours in animals
#951 – Aspartame
Linked to cancer, asthma, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, migraines, memory loss and depression.
#211 – Sodium Benzoate
Preservative – prevents food from going mouldy
When mixed with Vitamin C forms benzene which is a carcinogen and can cause DNA damage.
KRAFT CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER
Possible side effects: Asthma, Rashes & Hives, DNA damage, Depression, Fatigue, headache, insomnia. Prohibited in foods for infants. Recognised carcinogen, suspected respiratory, endocrine, skin, immuno, liver and neurotoxicity & wheezing
This additive is used solely for colour and is made from caramelization of sugar. It has not been found to be toxic but some sources say more research is needed. 150c is also found in Cola, beer, sauces and chocolate.
Coles Raspberry Jam: 330
330 is an acidity regulator and adds a citrus taste to foods. It also functions as a preservative. 330 or E330 is unlikely to cause problems unless someone has an allergy to it. Then possible symptoms include stomach upset, eczema, hives or other skin rash. The additive 330 is widely used and intolerance is uncommon.
INDOMIE MI GORENG INSTANT NOODLES
Sodium Benzoate (211)
Side effects: Skin irritation, headache, Stomach upset, asthma,hyperactivity,avoid if asprin sensitive
Sodium Metabisulphite (223)
Hayfever, avoid if asthmatic, harmful to aquatic organisims
Monosodium L-glutamate or MSG (621)
Function: Flavour Enhancer
Headache, nausea, migraine, dizziness, heart palpitations, heart arrhythmia, hives, neck pain, irritability, pins and needles in upper limbs, bronchospasm in athmatics
Healtheries KidsCare Potato Stix Crunchy Potato and Rich snacks in Chicken Flavour
Silicon Dioxide, Amorphous 551 or E551
– Anti-caking Agent used to prevent powdery and granular foods clumping together.
– Improves the flow of dry products, and also helps absorb water.
Long term use of Anticaking Agent (551) or(Silicon dioxide) has been shown to give kidney damage in some studies .People with pre-existing kidney or heart disease are at a much higher risk if you have a medical history of either cardiac or kidney disease, it is strongly advised that you avoid taking Silicon Dioxide.
If you would like to learn more on chemical food additives, explore the following page links below for more information on food additives and their uses.
Fed-up provides a comprehensive food additive list with colour-coding to show possible negative side-effects:
There are also apps available for download to help assist you in buying food products and be aware of adverse additive:
* Eat Informed
* E Food Additives
* Food Additives 2