Food additives are used to enhance taste (such as black pepper and MSG), preserve, or fortify food. Examples of food additives are salt, gum arabic (see here, here), artificial coloring (in farmed fish as well), artificial flavoring, and citric acid. Sweeteners include stevia , erythritol, corn syrup, and nutrasweet, though only two are considered to be health-promoting. Some additives are considered harmful, including as potassium sorbate, coumarin (which has been banned), and nitrites (see also here, here, here, here, here, here). Some have been found to be contaminated with mercury and others associated with hyperactivity and dementia. The meat industry is even now considering additives to try to make meat safer.
Topic summary contributed by Jinda Chaijinda
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Watch videos about food additives
February 22, 2013
Titanium Dioxide & Inflammatory Bowel Disease
People eating conventional diets may ingest a trillion microparticles of the food whitening additive titanium dioxide every day. What implication might this have for inflammation in the gut?
January 2, 2013
Miocene Meteorites and Uric Acid
Human beings lost the ability to detoxify uric acid millions of years ago. What implications does this have for our health today?
July 26, 2012
Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death
Death in America is largely a foodborne illness. Focusing on studies published just over the last year in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals, Dr. Greger offers practical advice on how best to..
June 15, 2012
Maggot Meat Spray
Given their inherent resistance to food-poisoning bacteria, maggots can be used to create an antibacterial food additive to increase the safety of the meat supply.
June 14, 2012
Viral Meat Spray
Bacteria-eating viruses (bacteriophages) have been approved as meat additives to reduce the risk of Listeria and Campylobacter found in processed meat and poultry products, but there is a concern..
April 27, 2012
Preventing COPD With Diet
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is now the third leading cause of death. The good news is that in addition to smoking cessation there are dietary interventions that can help prevent COPD.
April 24, 2012
The Safer Cinnamon
There are four common types of cinnamon: Vietnamese, Chinese (cassia), Indonesian, and Ceylon (true) cinnamon. Which is safest in terms of the level of coumarin, which may damage the liver at toxic..
March 6, 2012