Harmful and harmless additives in food

Much has been written and much has been said about food products, especially on their nutritional and health impacts. Recently, a great concern is expressed about the incompatibility of “healthy food” with the use of artificial flavors, colors and additives marked with E-numbers. However, not all food additives are artificial, some are actually natural substances, so you do not have to wonder when on the label with the declaration that says that there is no artificial additives among the ingredients you see some additives marked with E-numbers.

Popped wheat seeds full with food additive

When you learn more about the additives that are commonly used in food products, and can be found on the following list, you will be easier to conclude whether a given substance is harmless or harmful.

1. Harmless additives marked with E-numbers

  • E100 is also known as curcumin. It gives an orange-yellow color and is derived from turmeric root. Most often is used for “red” cheese and margarine to get golden yellow color, but it is also used biscuits coloring
  • E300 is simply another name for vitamin C. It is used for the preservation of some food, in addition to fruit, because prevents its natural color darkens and in addition to some food which are containing fat.
  • E-306, better known as vitamin E acts as a preservative for fats and oils
  • E322 is a soy extract, also known as lecithin, which is used in low calorie spreads and as an emulsifier in many other products, including chocolate.


2. Additives marked with E-numbers that can be harmful

  • E102 also known as tartrazine gives the yellow color which comes from the coal tar and which is used to color smoked fish and soft drinks. It can cause headaches, and is associated with hyperactivity in children. It can also cause allergy symptoms, such as skin urticaria and can be hard on asthmatics and people who do not bear aspirin.
  • E220 also known as sulfur dioxide. It is commonly used for canned fruit. According to some people it can cause headaches and nausea, and in some people enhances the symptoms of asthma.
  • E320 is mostly used in food products, beverages and ready-made sandwiches
  • E621 is used for improving flavor. It should not be placed in the baby food, and in some people can cause headache, palpitations and dizziness.

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