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 FOOD ADDITIVES

 

 

MSG
Olestra
Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Phosphates, Phosphoric Acid
Polysorbate 60
Potassium Bromate
Propyl Gallate

Quinine
Saccharin

Salatrim
Salt
Sodium Benzoate
Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose
Sodium Nitrate
Sorbic Acid
Sorbitan Monostearate
Sorbitol
Starch

Sucralose
Sugar
Sulfites
Thiamin Mononitrate
Vanillin, Ethyl Vanillin


 

 

MSG


(Monosodium Glutamate) (certain people should avoid)

Flavor enhancer. (Chips, frozen entrees, restaurant food, salad dressing, soup.) MSG is the sodium salt of an amino acid that brings out the flavor of certain foods. In the 1960s, researchers discovered that large amounts of MSG fed to infant mice destroyed nerve cells in their brains. Careful studies have shown that some people are sensitive to large doses of MSG. Reactions include headache, nausea, weakness, and burning sensations in the back of the neck and the forearms, as well as more-serious reactions like change in heart rate and difficulty breathing. It has also caused asthmatic reactions. If you're sensitive to MSG, keep in mind that other ingredients (natural flavoring, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and tomatoes, for example) also contain glutamate.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.

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OLESTRA


(Olean) (everyone should avoid)

Fat substitute. (Chips, crackers.) Olestra-a synthetic fat that's used to fry chips-can cause sometimes-severe and incapacitating diarrhea, loose stools, abdominal cramps, and flatulence. It also reduces the body's absorption of fat-soluble carotenoids (such as alpha- and beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein) from fruits and vegetables. Those carotenoids may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Olestra may be sold more widely in the future.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.

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PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL




(cut back)

Baked goods, fried restaurant food, margarine, shortening.) Vegetable oil, which is usually a liquid, can be make into a semi-solid shortening or margarine by reacting it with hydrogen. The process creates trans fats, which act like saturated fats to promote heart disease.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.

 

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PHOSPHATES, PHOSPHORIC ACID

 

(safe)

Acidulant, buffer, chelating agent, discoloration inhibitor, emulsifier, nutrient. (Baked goods, breakfast cereal, cheese, cured meat, dehydrated potatoes, powdered food, soda pop.) Phosphoric acid acidifies and flavors many cola beverages. Calcium and iron phosphates act as mineral supplements. Sodium aluminum phosphate is a leavening agent. Calcium and ammonium phosphates serve as food for yeast in baking. Sodium acid pyrophosphate prevents discoloration in potatoes and sugar syrups. While excessive consumption of phosphates could lead to dietary imbalances that might contribute to osteoporosis, only a small fraction of the phosphates in the diet comes from additives. Most phosphates come from meat and dairy products.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.

 

 

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POLYSORBATE 60


 



(safe)

Emulsifier. (Baked goods, frozen desserts, imitation dairy products.) Polysorbate 60 and its close relatives, polysorbate 65 and 80, work the same way as mono- and diglycerides, but not as much are needed. They keep baked goods from going stale, keep dill oil dissolved in bottled dill pickles, help coffee creamers dissolve, and prevent oil from separating in artificial whipped cream.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.

 

 

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POTASSIUM BROMATE


 



(everyone should avoid)

Flour improver. (White flour.) It has long been used to increase the volume of bread and to produce bread with a fine crumb structure. Most bromate rapidly breaks down to form innocuous bromides. However, bromate itself causes cancer in animals, and the tiny amounts that may remain in bread pose a small risk. Bromate was banned in the United Kingdom in 1989, and it is little used in California (because products sold there that contain it might have to carry a cancer warning).

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.

 

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PROPYL GALLATE


 

(caution)

Antioxidant, preservative. (Chewing gum, chicken soup base, meat products, potato sticks, vegetable oil.) It helps prevent fats and oils from spoiling and is often used with BHA and BHT. The best long-term animal study hinted that it might cause cancer.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.


 

 

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QUININE


 

 


(caution, certain people should avoid)

Alavoring. (Bitter lemon, quinine water, tonic water.) As a drug, it can cure malaria. It's also used as a bitter flavoring in tonic and a few other soft drinks. There is a slight chance that quinine-which has been relatively poorly tested as a food additive-causes birth defects, so, just to be on the safe side, pregnant women should avoid it.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.

 

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SACCHARIN


 

 

(everyone should avoid)

Artificial sweetener. (No-sugar-added foods, tabletop sweetener [Sweet N Low].) Saccharin is 350 times sweeter than sugar and is used in no-sugar-added foods or as a tabletop sugar substitute. Animal studies have shown that it can cause cancer of the bladder, uterus, ovaries, skin, blood vessels, and other organs. It also appears to increase the potency of other cancer-causing chemicals. In the best human study (done by the National Cancer Institute), people who reported using artificial sweeteners (saccharine and cyclamate) had higher rates of bladder cancer than people who said they didn't use artificial sweeteners.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.

 

 

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SALATRIM


 



(cut back)

Modified fat. (Baked goods, candy.) It has the physical properties of regular fat, but the company that developed it claims that it provides only about half the calories. Eating small amounts of salatrim is probably safe, but large amounts greatly increases the risk of side effects like stomach cramps and nausea.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.

 

TOP


 

 

 

SALT


 


(Sodium Chloride) (cut back)

Flavoring, preservative. (Most processed foods.) A diet high in sodium increases the risk or severity of high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.


 

 

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SODIUM BENZOATE


 



(safe)

Preservative. (Carbonated drinks, fruit juice, pickles, preserves.) Manufacturers have used it for a century to prevent the growth of microorganism in acidic foods.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.


 

 

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SODIUM CARBOXYMETHYLCELLULOSE


 


 
(CMC) (safe)

Thickening and stabilizing agent. (Beer, candy, diet foods, ice cream, icing, pie filling.) It's made by reacting cellulose with a derivative of acetic acid (the acid in vinegar). Among other things, it prevents sugar from crystallizing.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.


 

 

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SODIUM NITRATE, SODIUM NITRITE


 

 


(everyone should avoid)

Coloring, flavoring, preservative. (Bacon, corned beef, frankfurters, ham luncheon meat, smoked fish.) Sodium nitrite stabilizes the red color in cured meat and adds flavor. Without it, hot dogs and bacon would look gray. Sodium nitrate is used in dry cured meats like country ham, because it slowly breaks down into nitrite. Nitrite also helps prevent the growth of bacteria that cause botulism. Adding nitrite to food can create small amounts of potent cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines, particularly in fired bacon. Companies now add ascorbic acid or erythorbic acid to bacon to keep nitrosamines from forming. While nitrate and nitrite introduce only a small cancer risk, it's still worth avoiding them.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.


 

 

TOP


 

 

 

SORBIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE


 



(safe)

Prevents growth of mold. (Cake, cheese, dried fruit, jelly, syrup, wine.) Sorbic acid occurs naturally in many parts.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.


 

 

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SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE


 


(safe)

Emulsifier. (Cake, candy, frozen pudding, icing.) Like mono- and diglycerides and polysorbates, it keeps oil and water from separating. In chocolate candy, it prevents the discoloration that normally occurs when the candy is warmed up and then cooled.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.


 

 

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SORBITOL


 


(cut back)

Maintains moisture; sweetener, thickening agent. (Diet drinks, no-sugar added candy and chewing gum, shredded coconut.) It occurs naturally in fruits and is a close relative of sugar, though it's half as sweet. Because bacteria don't metabolize sorbitol well, it's used in no-sugar-added chewing gum, which doesn't cause tooth decay. Some diabetics use sorbitol-sweetened foods because it's absorbed slowly and doesn't cause blood sugar to increase rapidly. Moderate amounts of sorbitol may have a strong laxative effect, but otherwise it's safe.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.


 

 

 

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STARCH

 

(safe)

Thickening agent. (Gravy, soup.) It's the major component of flour, potatoes, and corn and is used in many foods as a thickening agent. But it doesn't dissolve in cold water, so chemists ,modify, it but reacting it with certain chemicals (see Modified Starch).

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.


 

 

TOP

 

 

 

SUCRALOSE

 

(safe)

Artificial sweetener. (No-sugar-added baked goods, frozen desserts, ice cream, soft drinks; tabletop sweetener.) It was approved for use in the U.S. in April 1998. Unlike aspartame, sucralose can be used in baked foods.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.



 

 

TOP


 

 

 

SUGAR

 


 
(Sucrose) (cut back)

Sweetener. (Sweetened food, table sugar.) Sucrose (table sugar) occurs naturally in fruit, sugar cane, and sugar beets. Sugar, corn syrup, and other refined sweeteners make up 15 to 20 percent of the average diet, but provide no vitamin, minerals, fiber, or protein. Sucrose and other refined sugars can promote obesity, tooth decay, and-in people with high triglycerides-heart disease.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.



 

 

TOP

 

 

 

SULFITES


 


(Sodium Bisulfite, Sulfur Dioxide) (certain people should avoid)

Bleach, preservative. (Dried fruit, processed potatoes, shrimp, wine.) Sulfiting agents prevent discoloration (in dried fruit, some fresh shrimp, and some dried, fried, or frozen potatoes) and bacterial growth (in wine). They also destroy vitamin B-1 and have caused fatal reactions, especially in asthmatic.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.



 

 

TOP


 

 

 

THIAMIN MONONITRATE


 


(safe)

Vitamin B-1. (Enriched flour, fortified cereal.) It's perfectly safe (it adds only minuscule amounts of nitrate to our food).

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.



 

 

TOP


 

 

 

VANILLIN, ETHYL VANILLIN


 


(safe)

Substitute for vanilla. (Baked goods, beverages, candy, chocolate, frozen dessert, gelatin.) Vanilla flavoring is derived from a bean, but vanillin, the major flavor component of vanilla, is cheaper to produce in a factory. A derivative, ethyl vanillin, comes closer to matching the taste of real vanilla.

Safe:
These appear to be safe, though a few people may be allergic to any single additive.

Cut back:
These are non toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy.

Caution:
These may pose a risk and need to better tested.

Certain People Should Avoid:
These cause allergic or other reactions in some people.

Everyone Should Avoid:
These are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested.

TOP