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Healthy eating

Additives make food last longer, enhance the taste or improve the consistency. In general, they are intended to influence the nature of the food or to achieve certain properties or effects. Around 320 additives are permitted in the European Union. Many additives can perform different functions. Calcium carbonate (E170) is used, for example, as a dye, filler, release agent and acid regulator.

The higher a product is processed, the more additives have to be added in order to achieve the desired quality. Therefore, finished products contain a lot of additives. But even staple foods such as bread, cheese or sausage are not free from additives - and even some types of apples are waxed, which protects them from drying out.

Additives are listed on the food packaging under "Ingredients". They are specified with their technological function (e.g. dye) in combination with their E number or their name (example: dye E104 or dye quinoline yellow).

All additives must be from the European Commission be allowed. A Admission for additives may only be issued in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008 if

  • you no risk to health are, as far as the available scientific data allow a judgment on this
  • you technologically necessary are,
  • Consumers through their use not fooled become.

A panel of experts from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) checks whether an additive is harmless to health. Most of the approved additives are indisputably harmless. For example, vitamins are also used as additives: “E101 Riboflavin” is the name given to vitamin B2, which the food industry uses as a coloring agent. "E300 ascorbic acid" is vitamin C and a common antioxidant, preservative and acidifier. Calcium carbonate - E170 - contains the important mineral calcium.

But: Not all additives are equally well tolerated by all people. For example, the flavor enhancer glutamate can cause the “China Restaurant Syndrome” with palpitations and headaches in sensitive people. The sweetener aspartame must be avoided by people with a certain disease (phenylketonuria). Food with aspartame must therefore be labeled accordingly.