Additives and the Diet

This is a brief introduction to understanding what additives are found in the modern industrialised diet and has been set out to demonstrate some of the effects that additives have on health and behaviour. Everything presented here is direct excerpt from a famous and respected book called E for Additives.  I have tried to include passages from the book which are most demonstrative of the importance of being aware of what we eat.

E For Additives

Knowing about this is particularly important in helping to understand factors that influence ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and allergic conditions such as asthma as well as aspects of chemical sensitivity. The foods and chemicals that we take into our body directly affects our well being.  The simplest demonstration of this is looking at what happens to us when we eat a lot of sugar, or caffeine.  Self Education is vital for those looking to gain an understanding.


This is in no way complete, nor thorough, but is intended as an introduction and a digest of the book – E for Additives.  It is cheap and should be on the shelf of anyone who buys any food out of the supermarket.


There has been a revolution in the approach to what we eat. A series of reports have clearly established the link between food intake and health. It has been supported by doctors, pharmacists, dietitians and politicians. In 1985 a decision was made to establish an all-party Parliamentary Food and Health Forum, of which I am Chairman, and this has become one of the most active Parliamentary groups.


Across the country there is concern at the fat and sugar content of food and a growing awareness that 30 per cent of adults in Britain are overweight. There is also a growing interest in colourings and artificial flavourings – in fact, in every type of additive. With Britain’s appalling record of avoidable diseases, there is now a major campaign linking diet and disease.


This growth in interest has led to a public demand for more information, and since 1962 the EEC has been issuing Directives on additives Since the beginning of January 1986, most foods have carried a full list of additives, apart from flavourings, described by their E numbers on the package. A great step forward – providing you can fully understand the implication of the E number!


For instance, I have aspirin sensitivity, and my wife is asthmatic. So we need to know, for both those conditions tend to bring in their wake sensitivities to certain common food preservatives and colours. The book describes these relationships fully, and in addition makes a convincing case for the full disclosure of ingredients and additives on products where they are not yet required to appear by law, such as in many types of confectionery, alcoholic drinks and medicines.


In 1984, following a great deal of research, Maurice Hanssen’s first edition of E for Additives was published. It was a tremendous success and was a bestseller for many months, along with Frederick Forsyth and Jeffrey Archer. It is still in great demand. It contains just enough essential information about the contents and effects (including adverse effects) of each product to enable the shopper to know just what they are being asked to buy.


But since 1984, research has provided a mass of additional information about Enumbered additives and about the wider implications of the need for certain additives in foods where many manufacturers are able to produce excellent foods without their use. Key issues such as the nutritional consequences of the overuse of additives are explored for the first time in this new edition of E for Additives.


To me, the great merit of Maurice Hanssen’s book is that his explanations are clear to all. It is cram full of essential information for the careful shopper. Every essential term, like preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, tenderizers and flavouring, is clearly spelt out.


This book is not just for those who did not buy the first edition. It contains so much that parents need to know. Do additives affect ability, and what about hyperactivity in children? The fact is that more and more is now known about the effects of what we eat – and we all need to know.  We know that there is a close link between what we eat and our physical – and maybe our mental – health.


I doubt whether anyone else in Britain has done more to cut through the commercials and bring out the facts. Maurice Hanssen has been at the forefront of this food and health revolution. For me, it is a real pleasure to commend this new edition. I hope that it, too, will be a bestseller.

The Rt. Hon. Lord Ennals
House of Lords


The Food Labelling Regulations of 1984 introduced the E-code which made it much easier to identify at least some of the additives in our food. But did they go far enough? There is, in fact, a wide range of foods and other things we swallow where we are not told what the ingredients are.

Alcoholic Drinks

Any drink with an alcoholic strength by volume of more than 1.2 per cent does not have to list the ingredients. This means that if you are, for example, an asthmatic and are particularly sensitive to sulphur dioxide (E220), which is a commonly used preservative in wines, beers and ciders, then you have no way of telling whether it is present or not, let alone whether the content is near the permitted maximum or very low. If you are sensitive then you have to look out for the whole range of sulphites – E220 to 227 – but when the Dutch Consumer Organization tested a selection of wines in 1985, they found that some of them had higher than the permitted limits of sulphur dioxide.


A test published in Which? magazine in May 1986 found that a number of the nineteen wines tested were near the maximum and that, if you regularly drank just a quarter litre (2 glasses) of most of the white wines, or one third of a litre (2 1/2 glasses) of some of the reds, you could exceed the Acceptable Daily Intake.


The EEC permits aeration, which is usually done with carbon dioxide (E290), to make cheap sparkling ‘bubbly’. To encourage the growth of yeasts during fermentation there is permission for an addition of diammonium phosphate or ammonium sulphate (no E numbers) up to a level of 0.3g/l either separately or combined. The sulphites that may be used include not only sulphur dioxide but also potassium bisulphite and potassium metabisulphite.


Potassium ferrocyanide (536) can be added to white and rose wines, as can zinc sulphate heptahydrate (which does not seem to appear on the permitted list) which are used together for ‘blue finings’.  Some countries permit the use of discs of pure paraffin impregnated with allyl isothiocyanate (no E number) to create a sterile atmosphere in containers holding more than 20 litres, but there may not be any trace of allyl isothiocyanate in the wine.  So you see that there is more to wine than the simple product of the fermentation of grape juice.

Other Alcoholic Drinks

Look around any good off-licence and you will see that there must be a very wide variety of colours and additives in use ranging from caramel in whisky to goodness knows what in certain of the more exotic aperitifs and liqueurs. Effectively, there is no regulation whatsoever other than the general provisions of the Food Act.


Unless there is the safeguard of ingredient labelling on alcoholic drinks, disastrous and dangerous episodes such as the Austrian wine scandal – which proved to involve many more countries than just Austria – are certain to happen again.


In July 1984 diethylene-glycol was found in Austrian wine in as many as 82 different brands, both in Germany and in Britain. Diethyleneglycol can be used as an anti-freeze, but when added to wine it improves the flavour, so that cheap wines can be sold as superior, more costly products. The expert view is that a consumption of 0.3ml of this contaminant daily is a potential health hazard to the kidneys and that 100ml can be fatal.


A bottle tested in Barnsley was found to contain 1.5ml, and so a heavy drinker could be endangered not only by the alcohol but also by the additive. It is ironic that the only reason the Austrian wine scandal was discovered was that one of the companies using diethylene-glycol in the wine requested a refund of the Value Added Tax. A sharp VAT inspector questioned the large volume of anti-freeze being used in the summer and the scandal was uncovered!


However, the fact is that food inspectors do not generally look very closely at the products which do not have lists of ingredients. Therefore, as things stand, we have very little protection against abuse. Until public pressure and government action puts this situation to rights there is no reason at all why responsible manufacturers should not voluntarily tell us what is in their drinks.


Fruit Juices and Fruit Nectars

The 1984 Labelling of Food Regulations seem at least reasonably clear but when you look back to other and earlier regulations concerning a specific food then, either through design or oversight, worms begin to creep out of the woodwork or, to be more specific, the two ingredients need not be declared in fruit juices and nectars when they are below certain levels.  Without making any declaration you can add up to 15 grammes per litre of added sugar and have present up to 10 milligrammes per litre of the preservative sulphur dioxide (E220).

Chocolate and Fancy Confectionery

If you had picked up a Mars bar in the middle of 1987 you would have found no list of ingredients although the percentage of cocoa butter was given. This is still true of the majority of chocolate confectionary made in the UK. For reasons which are not stated by MAFF and cannot be logical or helpful, chocolates do not have to list ingredients. That this protection is not necessary and should be abandoned was made very clear by Mars who have since had the honesty and courage to list their ingredients in full.


How can it be that the manufacturers of chocolates with brightly coloured centres that are almost certainly coloured artificially should be allowed to conceal this information? The vast majority of such manufacturers have nothing to hide and everything to gain by telling us all about the good wholesome ingredients that they may be using.


The same lack of information is permitted on fancy confectionery products packed as single items in such forms as a figure, an animal, cigarette, egg, or any other fancy form. Again, some manufacturers tell you what the product is made from. Let us hope the rest follow suit.

Additives in Ingredients and Some Other Exemptions

If an additive has been used in an ingredient which is part of a product containing a number of different ingredients, then the additive does not have to be declared if it serves no significant technological function in the finished product. So, if you buy a breakfast cereal containing apple flakes and the apple flakes look white, this could be because they were carefully processed or it could be because they have an added preservative. There is no way of knowing the difference unless the producer volunteers the information. The same considerations apply to a wide range of foodstuffs.

Bread and Other Fresh Foods

Fresh unwrapped bread carries no list of ingredients simply because there is nowhere to put it. The same applies to cakes and pastries. But when the product is wrapped and sold in an off-the-shelf form, then certain ingredients have to be listed, and you may well find that your wholemeal bread and, even more probably, your brown bread, contains added caramel and numerous other ingredients that are not necessary in the kitchen.


There is no good reason why the foods in the baker’s or the butcher’s that have been prepared on the premises have no list of ingredients It would be easy to do and it would help us make an informed choice. In addition to the unnamed additives on unwrapped bread there are also additives which do not have to be declared even when the product is wrapped. Chief among these must be the flour bleach, benzoyl peroxide (no E number).


It is certainly very puzzling that we in Britain need to use a bleach at all when most leading European countries have either banned bleaches or found them completely unnecessary. Another area of contamination is the lingering presence of pesticides and fungicides applied not only to the growing crops but also in the storage silos to prevent insect infestation and fungal growth.


Ham and other meat products on the delicatessen counter have to show the amount of water present (at any rate to some extent, see page 25) but the other additives only need to be identified by their category name, a throw-back to the 1970 regulations. So a ham description may say ‘maximum 25 per cent added water, added preservative and colour’, unless it is in a packet.


Such loopholes are a negation of all the progress made in other areas of food labelling. The largest part of all food sold in this way is produced by manufacturers who are perfectly able to provide a label for the point of sale giving, in a legible size of lettering, the same information that would be required if the same product were sold in a packet instead of loose, or else it is produced by the shop itself, who must know the recipe.


Even the present very limited regulations are being openly abused in large numbers of shops where no ingredient information at all is supplied about the loose foods on sale. Our Trading Standards Officers, who should be enforcing the rules, have limited resources but are usually most helpfulwhen apparent breaches of the regulations are drawn to their attention. It is a courtesy, however, to first warn the shop management of any likely problem so that they can put things right.


A licensed medicine has only to state the details of the active ingredient or ingredients. All the other components of the product are exempt from labelling requirements. It is not at all uncommon for the good effects of the medicine to be entirely negated by the adverse effects of the other ingredients being used. This is especially true of colours and preservatives. The Ministry of Health, some time ago, distributed a consultative paper to pharmaceutical manufacturers asking them if they would agree to list a limited range of additives which cause side-effects in sensitive people. It is thought that most manufacturers were happy to comply, but no legislation has so far resulted.


In the meantime, the Ministry has said that if you have a problem, all you have to do when buying a medicine is to ask the pharmacist if it has certain ingredients in it. Unfortunately, the pharmacist has no idea because he is not given the information either.


He has to go back to the manufacturer who may be unwilling to give him the answer or even to find somebody who has the answer readily available. When the facts emerge they are often disturbing, as in the case of the chewable children’s vitamins which contain five different azo-dyes and ground sugar to make them pretty and palatable There is no reason why pharmaceutical manufacturers should not volunteer to reveal the list of ingredients, and there is no reason why they should be exempted from so doing.

Other Uses of Pigments

Pigments are commonly found in pet feeds especially for captive birds so that their colourful plumage is maintained. Zoo flamingos are fed with canthaxanthin to ensure the pinkness of their legs, beaks and feathers. Such commonplace pet foods as dog biscuits and meats often appear to contain significant quantities of undeclared colours.


It is doubtful whether these are truly appreciated by the animal, but they do attract the owner. There are widespread abuses of the external colouring of seafood. For example, jumbo prawns and smoked cod’s roe are frequently on sale in the fish shop without any ingredient declaration, but they have quite often unquestionably been dipped in a heavy concentration of red dye!


Smoked fish is another loophole. Fish can be called ‘smoked’ when all that has happened is that they have been dipped in a liquid smoke flavour and then artificially coloured! Indeed, smoked and cured fish which is not packed ready for the consumer, like ham, just has to say ‘added permitted colour’, but if it is pre-packed the full declaration is required.


Consumer choice means the freedom to make an informed choice, and although we think thatthe use of these artificial and natural additives in animal feeds presents no toxic hazard to the consumer, we do believe that we have a right, as is the case with eggs in the United States, to know what pigments have been added.


In addition, acceptable and legally controlled levels of daily intake should be established and enforced. If the egg regulations are so changed, it would be a good opportunity to label egg boxes with the date the eggs were laid and not the less useful date of packing. In spite of obvious difficulties this lack of information remains a substantial gap in our knowledge of what we are eating which should be remedied as soon as possible.


As to safety we have few doubts. Very few problems have been shown to be caused by food flavours and, so far as we can tell, none of these under normal circumstances. This is because the effectiveness of a food flavour depends on it being chemically similar to that found in nature and, if you happen to be allergic to strawberries, you would be unlikely to eat strawberry-flavoured products which could produce the same problems.


Watch out for ‘smoked’ fish. It is legally permissible to dip fish into ‘liquid smoke’, which is in truth a flavour, and then add colour as a replacement for the hues of the normal smoking process. Such fish can be described as ‘smoked’. Also, both smoked and cured fish, as with ham, when sold not ready-packed only have to carry the words ‘added permitted colour’, and so avoid the obligation to give a true list of ingredients.

P for Pesticides

A report from the American National Academy of Sciences was stated, according to an article in The Independent of 28 May 1987, to have studied 28 of the 53 pesticides which the Environmental Protection Agency deemed to be carcinogenic. There was a lack of data on a number of the other pesticides used, but it was found that a small number of the widely used pesticides posed the greatest hazard to health, and it was suggested that three petrochemical compounds – the herbicide linuron and the insecticides chlorodineform and permethrin – be banned.


It has frequently been suggested that we write a book as informative about pesticides as we hope this is about additives. The difficulty is clear. You cannot tell if a product contains an excessive quantity of pesticides without a clear labeling obligation. Until this comes about all that can be done is to give general guidance.


Permethrin is sprayed on almost every fruit, nut and vegetable purchased in America, says the article, and linuron is extensively used on soya beans and potatoes. The difficulty for the EPA, which is a government agency, is that if it bans a chemical as being harmful to the consumer then it has to pay the manufacturer the cost of all the unused chemical plus the anticipated margin of profit.


The Americans came to the conclusion that, if the fruits and vegetables are sprayed with the worst possible selection of permitted pesticides, the rating list of danger from contracting cancer was: Tomatoes, beef, potatoes, oranges, lettuce, apples, peaches, pork, soya beans, wheat, beans, carrots, chicken, grapes and corn.


As to risk, the committee thought that 5.8 cases of cancer per thousand people consuming this list of foods when treated with the pesticides specified was a realistic forecast. There can be no better argument for selecting organically grown fruit and vegetables with some seal of approval – the most reliable being that of the Soil Association – and also dairy products and meat with similar quality controls.


Fortunately, this branch of farming which was pioneered by the health food suppliers has now spread into a wider market and you should look out for ‘organic’ signs on foods which will not only have very low levels of pesticides but also very superior flavour. Foods, herbs and spices, imported from overseas are rarely checked for pesticide residues.


Those tests that have been undertaken show very grave cause for concern. For example, lettuces from certain Mediterranean growers are produced in polythene tunnels under a continual mist of insecticides, fungicides and water until the moment of picking.


The laboratory equipment at our ports is so out-dated that 10-14 days are required for analyses by which time the food would be bad. Finland has achieved the highest standards for import quality control, possibly the best in the world, with the result that growers produce special low pesticide residue produce for that country.  We must demand equal standards throughout the EEC.


Liz Cagan looked at the food served to the children and said to herself that this was far removed from the plain, sensible, nourishing food which she had served to her own family. Aircraft type meals were warmed up and most of them finished up in the rubbish bin. She called the cooks together and told them that, if they were to stay in work, they had to become real cooks and not just re-heaters.


Not long after, through one of her assistants, she heard of the pioneering experiments of Alexander G. Schauss, a brilliant penologist, who had turned to biosocial research and nutrition. He had experimented with prison populations by giving them food low in additives and sugar. There had been substantial improvements in work records and less aggression.

Do Additives Affect Ability?

New York City State schools have some of the highest paid and best qualified teachers in the USA yet in the late 1970s they had some of the worst records of academic success and criticism of both pupils and teachers was reaching a desperately high level. What could be done? Dr Elizabeth Cagan, a distinguished and charismatic educationalist, was routed out from her academic environment and given the challenge of reforming the school catering service, because it was felt instinctively that this could be part of the problem.


In Alabama, for example, after a control period of 18 months without diet modifications, a revised diet was introduced. Within 4 1/2 months of changing the diet policy behaviour problems fell and then levelled off for the next 14 months of the trial at a figure 61 per cent lower than before.


These results were validated by a number of other controlled trials where the data confirmed that diet and behavioural problems have many cause-and-effect links, and these included problems with sugar, food colours and, indeed, flavours.  The Feingold Diet, which was on the same basic lines with also the removal of the antioxidants BHA and BHT (E320 and E321), had produced successful results with both hyperactivity and juvenile delinquency.
So, Dr Cagan’s colleague went to see Alexander Schauss and between them they decided to set up a food system for the New York City schools which, incidentally, have the second biggest buying power for food products after the US Army, in a first-phase Feingold Diet.


This involved a gradual elimination of artificial colours, artificial flavours and the preservatives BHA and BHT while, simultaneously, foods high in sugar were either eliminated or the sugar reduced to a maximum figure of around 11 per cent. It was ensured that, when each revision was implemented, changes took place simultaneously in all the schools, but the revisions were carried out over three academic years: 1979-80, 1980-81 and 1982-83, with no changes being made in the 1981-82 academic year so that there was a basis for evaluating the effects of change.


Then the previous year’s ranking was subtracted from the current year’s to show the gain or loss in national terms. The figures for all 803 schools averaged together show a mean gain or decline in the years between 1977 and 1983. This exceptionally complex trial on almost a million children who ate both breakfast and lunch at school was undertaken by three doctors, Stephen J Schoenthaler, Walter E. Doraz and James A. Wakefield Jr All the selected schools gave their children the California Achievement Test (CAT), which is given to many schools across the United States and from which the percentage ranking of the school was calculated.


They had already checked back for the four years preceding the changes so that they knew the average figures involved: these did not fluctuate by more than a mere percentage point. The mean academic CAT score for each school was calculated and then it was converted to a national ranking by comparing this mean with that of the other schools who used the same test in the same year.


It was published in the International Journal of Biosocial Research, Volume 8, Number 2, 1986, pp.138-148. The results were astounding. There was a 15.7 per cent increase in mean academic ranking over and above the rest of the nation’s schools who used the same standardized tests. (Before the changes the variations had been less than 1 per cent.)


Prior to dietary changes, the school children who ate the most school meals had the worst results. After the changes, the children who ate the most school meals had the best results. Never before had there been a trial of such a sire and with such scientific support on so many children to determine the effect of diet upon ability. The schools formed committees including pupils to set up their own menus, along Dr Cagan’s guidelines, with their cooks and dieticians.


There were supportive posters everywhere such as ‘Have you hugged your dietician today?’ (which in some areas was altered by changing the h to m!). When Dr Cagan went to aschool in the roughest part of New York City and was introduced at meal time by the head teacher as being the lady who had changed the food, she received a standing ovation from the pupils.  Only a few years before, visitors would have required a police escort.


So, do certain additives damage me brain? ‘We do not know. What does look certain from this gigantic and extraordinary trial is that there has to be a reconsideration of those additives which deny children the nutrients normally present in real food. What is the purpose of excessive quantities of sugar, colours, flavours and preservatives? They are there to disguise nutritionally unimportant food substances, including highly calorific fiats, as real, wholesome, satisfying food. Just go round your supermarket and look at the foods still being sold that appeal to the senses of the young.


Without checking the labels carefully you can easily buy non-nutritive rubbish. But it tastes and looks just like real food. So additives can dilute nutrition. The test of ‘need’ is applied without a true understanding of the consequences to our children, upon whom all our future hopes must be founded.
Remember, many additives help to provide us with good and safe food, but beware – additives that in themselves might be harmless deceive us and, worse still, our children, into consuming empty calories.


A centre for severely disturbed children – the state-run Aycliffe School in Co. Durham – is undertaking a trial to find whether the Schauss/Schoenthaler Diet, which they will be adapting, can help these children.  The diet being used observes the following guidelines:


(a) sweetened breakfast cereals to be replaced with nonsweetened varieties;

(b) canned fruits, if packed in syrup to be rinsed with cold water before serving;

(c) soft drinks to be replaced with a wide selection of fruit and vegetable juices;

(d) table sugar to be replaced with honey;

(e) wholemeal bread to be substituted for white bread;

(f) brown rice to replace white rice;

(g) processed foods to be replaced with fresh, when available at similar prices;

(h) snack foods high in sugar, fat or refined carbohydrates to be replaced by fresh fruit and vegetables, plus a variety of nuts, cheeses and wholegrain biscuits;

(i) preservatives, especially BHA (E320) and BHT (E321), and artificially coloured or flavoured foods to be avoided where possible
In this special group of children the results may not necessarily be generally applicable, but they will be of great importance Further studies need to be done.


Hyperactivity in Children

A lot of cynicism has been generated about the whole idea of hyperactivity in children. There are no hyperactive children, only hyperactive parents’ is a frequent retort. The evidence is mounting, although with some reservations, that a good deal of so called hyperactivity is, in fact, due to an unstable environment, but that a good deal is due to food. Dr Egger at Great Ormond Street Hospital showed in his series of cases that there were no children who had an adverse effect from additives only. They were always affected by a food as well. Dr Ben Feingold MD began his work and observations in 1965 on the link between certain foods and additives and the effect on some individuals’ behaviour and their ability to learn. He proposed a diet which cut down on certain additives and eliminated certain foods.


Scientific workers are still uncertain as to the validity of the whole of Dr Feingold’s ideas, but there is no doubt that a vast number of hyperactive children, and also asthmatics and those suffering from eczema, have benefited immeasurably from a sensible and careful adaptation of this diet.


Hyperactive children bring much strain and exhaustion to parents who have to manage offspring who only sleep a few hours; are excitable and impulsive; are very fidgety; have a short attention span; are compulsively aggressive; can hurt themselves and are sometimes very anti-social. All these traits are beyond the control of the children, who may well also suffer from a lack of co-ordination of the muscles.


They collide with objects when trying such simple sports as cycling and swimming. Their finer senses, such as their eyes and hands, do not seem to operate together. They have difficulty with buttoning and tieing, writing, drawing and speaking – sometimes they are dyslexic.


As they grow older they become even more active and can easily hurt. Difficulties are experienced with speech, balance and learning, even if the IQ is high. They suffer from excessive thirst and are often prone to respiratory difficulties. It was to help such parents and children that the Hyperactive
Children’s Support Group was formed in 1977. It is now a registered charity.


The Secretary is Mrs Sally Bunday,
71 Whyke Lane,
Chichester, West Sussex
P019 2LD
(please enclose an SAE if you would like details of membership)


The Group recommends that parents try a diet based on the work of Ben Feingold. First, this means cutting out all food and drink containing synthetic colours or flavours, avoiding glutamates, nitrites, nitrates, BHA, BHT and benzoic acid. Second, for the first four to six weeks, foods containing natural
salicylates (like aspirin chemically) should be avoided and then re-introduced one at a time to see if they cause problems. Such foods include almonds, apples, apricots, peaches, plums, prunes, oranges, tomatoes, tangerines, cucumbers, most soft fruits, cherries, grapes and raisins.

The additives that the HACSG recommends should be avoided are:

  • E102 Tartrazine
  • E104 Quinoline Yellow
  • 107 Yellow 2G
  • E110 Sunset Yellow FCF
  • E120 Cochineal
  • E122 Carmoisine
  • E123 Amaranth
  • E124 Ponceau 4R
  • E127 Erythrosine
  • 128 Red 2G
  • E132 Indigo Carmine
  • 133 Brilliant blue FCF
  • E150 Caramel
  • E151 Black PN
  • 154 Brown FK
  • 155 Brown HT
  • E160(b) Annatto
  • E210 Benzoic acid
  • E211 Sodium benzoate
  • E220 Sulphur dioxide
  • E250 Sodium nitrite
  • E251 Sodium nitrate
  • E320 Butylated hydroxyanisole
  • E321 Butylated hydroxytoluene
  • TBHQ (Monotertiary butylhydroxylquinone)


Additives which are either dangerous to asthmatics or aspirin-sensitive people, and could reasonably be added to the HACSG listing, or should not be used to food intended for babies or young children are:

  • E212 Potassium benzoate
  • E213 Calcium benzoate
  • E214 Ethyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
  • E215 Ethyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, sodium salt
  • E216 Propyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
  • E217 Propyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, sodium salt
  • E218 Methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
  • E219 MEthyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, sodium salt
  • E310 Propyl gallate
  • E311 Octyl gallate
  • E312 Dodecyl gallate
  • 621 Sodium hydrogen L-glutamate (monoSodium glutamate)
  • 622 Potassium hydrogen L-glutamate (monoPotassium glutamate)
  • 623 Calcium dihydrogen di-L-glutamate (calcium glutamate)
  • 627 Guanosine 5′(diSodium phosphate)
  • 631 Inosine 5′-(diSodium phosphate)
  • 635 Sodium 5′-ribonucleotide


Additives Banned by Countries

The followins is a list of additives which have been banned by different countries.  I have gone through the book ‘E for Additives’ and noted which ones have been singled out by governments for exclusion from the diet.


This I have done so that it makes clear that large bodies of educated people have surveyed the available evidence on the properties of these chemicals and have for one reason or another decided that these should not be allowed in the food chain. This is not a specific section of the book but instead a synopsis of the additives indicated in the book as being prohibited.  Following will be a representation of how the information is presented in the published version, which will show how the author has laid out the data:


  • E102 Tartrazine (C.I. 19140: FD and C Yellow 5); Synthetic azo dye; Yellow colour: Prohibited in Norway and Austria
  • E104 Quinoline Yellow (C.I. 47005); Synthetic coal tar dye; dull yellow to greenish-yellow colour.  Prohibited in Norway, the USA, Austria and Japan.
  • 107 Yellow 2G (Food Yellow 5); Synthetic coal tar dye and azo dye: The Food Advisory Committee have recommended that yellow 2G should be withdrawn from use in Britain. Within the EEC, the UK is the only country to retain its use.  It is prohibited in Norway, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Japan and the USA.
  • E110 Sunset Yellow FCF (C.I. 15985; FD and C Yellow 6); Synthetic azo dye; red colour: Prohibited in Norway and Finland.
  • E122 Carmoisine (Azorubine; C.I. 14720); synthetic azo dye; red colour: Prohibited in Norway, Sweden, the USA and Japan.
  • E123 Amaranth (C.I. 16185; FD and C Red 2); Synthetic coal tar dye and azo dye; purplishred colour: Prohibited in Norway and the USA.  In France and Italy it may only be used in caviar.
  • E124 Ponceau 4R (C.I. 16255); Synthetic coal tar dye and azo dye; red colour: Prohibited in Norway and the USA.
  • E127 Erythrosine (C.I. 45430; FD and C Red 3); Synthetic coal tar dye; cherry pink to red colour: The 1987 Food Advisory Committee’s recommendation is that erythrosine should be permitted in cocktail and glace cherries only and limited to a maximum content of 200mg/kg. It is prohibited in Norway and the USA.
  • 128 Red 2G (C.I. 18050); Synthetic coal tar dye and azo dye; red colour: It is used in no other EEC member state nor is it permitted in Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria, the USA, Canada, Japan, and Australia.
  • E132 Indigo Carmine (Indigotine; C.I.73015; FD and C Blue 2); Synthetic coal tar dye; Blue colour and diagnostic agent: Prohibited in Norway.
  • 133 Brilliant Blue FCF (C.I. 42090; FD and C Blue 1); Synthetic coal tar dye; blue colour: Prohibited in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Germany.
  • E142 Green S (Acid Brilliant Green; Food Green S; Lissamine Green; Ci.I. 44090); Synthetic coal tar dye; green colour: Prohibited in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Japan, Canada and the USA.
  • E151 Black PN (Brilliant Black PN; C.I. 28440); Synthetic coal tar dye and azo dye; black colour: Prohibited in Norway, Finland, Japan Canada and the USA.
  • E153 Carbon Black (Vegetable carbon); Can be prepared from animal charcoal, furnace black, lampblack, activated charcoal or it can be prepared in a laboratory; black colour: Banned in the USA in 1976.
  • 154 Brown FK (Kipper Brown; Food Brown); Synthetic mixture of six azo dyes and subsidiary colouring matters; Brown colour: Prohibited in all EEC member states bar the UK and Irish Republic, also prohibited in Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia.
  • 155 Brown HT (C.I. 20285; Chocolate Brown HT); Synthetic coal tar dye and azo dye; brown colour: Prohibited in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, the USA, and Australia
  • E171 Titanium dioxide (C.I. 77891); prepared from the mineral ilmenite; white colour: Prohibited in Germany
  • E172 Iron Oxides, iron hydroxides (yellow/brown: C.I. 77492; red: 77491; brown: 77499); naturally occurring pigments of iron: Prohibited in Germany.
  • E237 Sodium formate; sodium salt of formic acid; preservative: Prohibited in the UK.
  • E238 Calcium formate; calcium salt of formic acid; preservative: prohibited in UK
  • E320 Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA); A mixture of 2- and 3-tert-butyl-4-methoxyphenol prepared from p-methoxyphenol and isobutene; retards flavour deterioration in foods due to oxidation: Prohibited in Japan