Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Truth About Food Additives and Colorants

When you're vegetarian or vegan or have certain dietary needs because of your religion, finding colourants other food additives that are suitable for you can be a nightmare. So, I was delighted to come across this comprehensive list online.

Not only does it say which E numbers are of animal origin, it also says whether they have been known to cause allergic reactions and whether the additive may have been likely to come from genetically engineered organisms.

Sweets and desserts often contain E numbers

For instance, E110 is also known as Sunset Yellow and has been linked to hyperactivity. It is suitable for vegetarians though.

Cochineal or E120 is the biggie to watch out for if you don't want crushed little insects in your food. It's also one of the worst offenders when it comes to allergic reactions.

Ponceau 4R is a red dye that may make people who have asthma worse. It's listed as a carcinogen (linked to cancer) and is banned in the USA by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration). It's also been linked to hyperactivity in children.

FACT - In Scotland, Barrs who make fizzy drink Irn Bru, have announced plans to faze out Sunset Yellow and Ponceau 4R which are used as colorants in the drink. Read their statement.

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