Go grab your favourite snacks, cookies, james, sauces, juices, soda, biscuits, jellybeans, chips or anything you can find in your fridge or cupboard, then take a look at the label. High chances you will see those seemingly ‘mysterious’ ingredients, most often starting with the letter ‘E’. Well, one thing for sure, ‘E’ here certainly does not stand for ‘Excellence’ 😉 .
Though many substances (yes, undoubtedly, mostly those with them E’s and others) added to food may seem foreign when listed on the ingredient label, they are actually widespread and integral part of the processed food chain.
More specifically, they are actually from the additive family , that is, chemicals that function as colouring, preservatives, flavour enhancer, artificial sweeteners and antioxidants.
Some example of the codes and their classification as follow :
Also one might also come across ‘FD&C’ or otherwise known as ‘Food, Dye and Colouring’. FD&C are colouring dyes used in food. Some of the common and fancy (weird?) FD&C you can find :
FD&C (Food, Dye and Colouring) are added to food, to make them, erm, look more colourful and pleasant especially after all that processing and storage.
And let’s also have some B’s! Occasionally, one can also spot BHA and BHT :
Butylated Hydroxytoluene and Butylated Hydroxyanisole might sound like some blowtorch gas, but far from it, they are actually used as antioxidants to prevent fat-soluble vitamins and artifical colouring/flavouring from degrading and found mostly in processed food that contains fat or oil.
So there you have it, the ‘E‘ Exposed (we couldn’t help it 😉 . And if you think these ‘codes’ and names sounds scary, they actually are, if consumed a lot and frequently. Not good, not good.
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