Food Additives

Food Additives

Food additives are substances that are in the food supply either by accident or on purpose.

They are added intentionally for a variety of reasons including to slow down spoilage, to enhance color and flavor, and to improve texture and nutrient density.

They are added accidentally due to food processing, packaging and storage methods.

Is it a good idea?

The desirability of adding foreign substances to our food supply has been the subject of a great deal of controversy. The FDA has instituted regulations to control these substances, and is constantly reevaluating their standards.

--Caveat: Be aware that the chemicals used to make food more appealing are often found in products targeted for children.  Artificial colors have recently been found to be harmful to children, so read labels and avoid foods with these harmful substances. Focus on real food for yourself and your kids to avoid the potential problems associated with the additives in processed foods.

Here is a list of common food additives that are added intentionally by food manufacturers.

Click here for a printable copy of this list.

Food Additives






Potassium Sorbate


--Potassium metabisulfite

--Potassium bisulfite

--Sulfur dioxide

--Sodium bisulfite

--Sodium meta bisulfite

--Sodium sulfite




B vitamins

Vitamin C

Vitamin E







Beet powder or juice

Grape skins

Carmel color












--Locust Bean Gum



--Gum Arabic


--Xanthun Gum




Fruit Juices



Click here for names for sugar used on food labels.


Artificial Sweeteners:










This is a list of additives that are put in foods on purpose. There is also a list of foods that appear in foods unintentionally. These include, dioxins, pesticides, acrylamide, methylene chloride, BPA, hormones, antibiotics, bug parts, rat fecal hairs. Some of these substances, such as BPA and dioxins from plastics, are being studied for their potential as health hazards.

This list also includes things like peanut residue and soy that are not normally part of the food product but were added inadvertently during processing at a facility where peanuts and soy are used in other products. This potential should be listed on the food label.

Both peanut and soy allergies are fairly common, so these accidental additives may cause serious problems for some people.

Click here to go from Food Additives List page to Food Supply page.

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