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How to recognize food additives and flavorings

Additives, use and advice

Most industrial food products contain one or morenatural or artificial additives.These substances are added for technical or commercial reasons andhave no nutritional value.The additives can be used in order to make the food more colorful, to maintain its original appearance and consistency up to the time of consumption, to extend the shelf life and, often, also to mask the absence of some ingredients of value or use of poor quality raw materials.If you want to know in which foods are contained and when it is better to avoid them, you can consult ourdatabase on additives, in which there are all those authorized by current regulations.

The additives on the label

When a product contains additives, thelabelmust include:

  • the category (preservatives, acidifiers, antioxidants …);
  • the name of the additive (sorbic acid, lecithin, beeswax …)or the European code (E 220, E 322, E 901 …).The name of the additive and the code can be in brackets or preceded by a colon.

The ingredients and additives are listed, in descending order, according to the quantity contained in the product.

What can be done to limit its use?

  • Read labels and systematically choose products that contain less additives.In this way, you will make the producers understand that you prefer, first of all, quality products that do not present any health risks.
  • Avoid products with an inconspicuous color, which clearly reveals the presence of dyes.
  • Learn to appreciate simple and possibly unprepared foods, as most of them contain many additives, including glutamates and preservatives.By consuming many ready-made products, you will in all likelihood get massive doses of additives.In addition, some preservatives, especially sorbic acid, are allowed in a decidedly too large number of food products: it follows that the levels of intake tolerated daily, only for that preservative, are easily overcome even with a varied diet.

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