Food Additives

The food industry uses many different mechanisms to alter food products, including additives that are used to enhance flavor, shelf life, texture and appearance. Food additives and their effect on health have been a subject of controversy, and while these substances are described as “generally safe” by the Food and Drug Administration, they are often banned in other countries for their detrimental health effects. Additives can be toxic chemicals that can give rise to a number of symptoms, chronic diseases, and infertility. Avoiding toxins in your diet is an important part of maintaining health.

Below you will find a list of common food additives, the products in which they are found, and the health consequences that result from their consumption.

Artificial colors
(Yellow Tartrazine, Yellow 2G10y, Yellow 110, Yellow #5, Yellow #6, Blue #1, Blue #2, Red #40, Green 3, Red 3)

Found in: Many products including but not limited to: Butter, beverages, cereals, processed meats, medicines, candy, Florida oranges, popsicles, Macaroni and cheese, salad dressing, cake mixes

How it affects your health: These dyes contain carcinogens and can cause allergy-like hypersensitivity reactions, asthma, headaches, infertilitly in men, growth retardation, and abdominal irritation


Aspartame (Acesulfame potassium)

Found in: Diet beverages, chewing gum, some desserts

How it affects your health: This no-calorie sweetener has been shown to cause cancer in rats, and has been associated with headaches and migraines. Take special caution in pregnancy because can be transferred to the baby, and has been implicated in Multiple Sclerosis and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma



Found in: Cakes, candy, margarine, cereal, salad dressing, Beverages, low sugar products, cereals, processed meat, shrimp and fish

How it affects your health: May interfere with digestive enzymes and worsens allergies, hives, and asthma



Found in: Cereals, breads, grain products, potato chips, chewing gum, vegetable oil containing products

How it affects your health: These are known to increase allergic reactions such as skin redness and hives, it may be a carcinogen as it has known changes to the structure of DNA


Monosodium Glutamate

Found in: Canned vegetables, processed meats and Chinese restaurant food

How it affects your health: MSG is a flavor enhancer that can cause headaches, muscle tightness, numbness, general weakness


Nitrates and Nitrites (including Potassium nitrate)

Found in: Meat products such as bacon and hot dogs

How it affects your health: Used to preserve color and prevent botulism, they can cause migraines and hives and may lower the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood


Potassium Bromate

Found in: Bread and baked goods

How it affects your health: This additive is a known animal carcinogen, and has been banned across the world except for Japan and the US


Saccharin (Sweet'n Low)

Found in: Beverages candies, cookies, medicines, toothpaste

How it affects your health: This sweetener has been banned in many different countries, as it may interfere with blood coagulation, blood sugar levels, and digestive function. It is associated with many different types of cancer and congenital abnormalities


Sodium benzoate

Found in: Carbonated drinks, pickles, medicines

How it affects your health: This preservative aggravates asthma, and is a suspected neurotoxin and carcinogen and potentially causes fetal abnormalities



Found in: Wines, dried fruits, grape juice, maraschino cherries, frozen potatoes, fresh shrimp

How it affects your health: Sulfites are used to help products retain their color and freshness, however they can cause skin rashes, abdominal distress, asthmatic reactions


Sulphur dioxide

Found in: Carbonated beverages, dried fruit, juices, frozen potato products

How it affects your health: This preservative destroys vitamin B1 and may cause abdominal discomfort, asthma attacks, skin rashes


Posted on November 24, 2014 .