Food Additives to Avoid

Food Additives to Avoid

Additives are often found in various types of processed foods. There are various additives with different functions. You are advised to limit or avoid the consumption of foods that contain additives for the sake of health.

Some foods are intentionally added with additives or additives, in order to preserve, add flavor, improve texture or beautify the appearance of food. Some people even deliberately add this ingredient with the reason and hope to increase or maintain the nutritional value of the food.

Types of Additives

Since ancient times, additives have been used in various types of food. For example, salt to preserve meat and fish, herbs and spices to enhance the taste of food, sugar to preserve fruit, and vinegar to pickle cucumbers.

Advances in existing technology make the diversity of additives growing. The types of additives that are often added to food are increasingly diverse, such as:
  • Bulking agent, increases the volume of food without changing the number of calories present.
  • Raising agent or developer, increases the volume of food by the formation of gas from the material.
  • Propellants, materials that make it easier for food to be removed from its packaging.
  • Gel forming, changing the texture of food into a gel.
  • Glazing agent, improves appearance and protects food.
  • Flour treatment, improve the quality of baked goods.
  • Stabilizer and hardener.
  • Thickener, improves texture and consistency.
  • Preservative, preserve and make microbes can not multiply.
  • Mineral salt, improves texture and taste.
  • Foaming agent, maintains uniformity of gas aeration levels in food.
  • Flavor enhancer, increase flavor strength.
  • Flavors add flavor to food.
  • Humectants, keep moisture
  • Coloring, adding or highlighting
  • Acidifier, maintains the acidity of food appropriately.
  • Emulsifier, keeps fat from freezing.
  • Artificial sweetener, enhance sweetness.
  • Antioxidant, prevents food from oxidizing and smelling rancid.
  • Anti-caking agent, keeps food from thickening.

Recognizing Dangerous Additives

Some additives are considered dangerous if consumed continuously or excessively. The following are some additives that are often used in the manufacture of food, along with their dangers:


Based on research, additives or chemicals added to make food last longer (eg benzoates, monoglycerides, diglycerides, nitrates, nitrites, and sulfites) are suspected to cause health problems.

MSG (monosodium)

Although it still needs further research, according to a nutrition consultant, MSG can damage nerve endings if consumed in excess, thereby increasing the sensation of pain. Additives that make food taste delicious can also increase the risk of weight gain and metabolic syndrome. Some people who are sensitive to MSG content can experience headaches after eating foods that contain lots of MSG.

High fructose corn syrup

High-fructose corn syrup is a sweetener that is often used in packaged food and beverage products, such as sparkling water, cakes and candies. Several studies have shown that this additive can cause chronic stomach pain and other digestive disorders in people who have an intolerance to high-fructose corn syrup.

Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are associated with various chronic diseases, including fibromyalgia, migraines, brain tumors, neurological disorders, cancer, and premature birth.

Potassium bromate or potassium bromate

The use of this additive has actually been banned since 1993. The use of potassium bromate in food is prohibited because it can cause cancer. This additive is a carcinogenic substance.

Sodium nitrite or sodium nitrite

This additive is often used as a preservative for hot dogs and bacon. Foods containing sodium nitrite tend to be high in sodium and fat, so it is advisable to limit them. Processed meat that contains nitrite and other additives is also thought to increase the risk of heart and blood vessel disease. Research even shows that sodium nitrite can cause cell damage that can lead to cancer.


Although natural, sugar is also not good for health if consumed in excess. According to a doctor, sugar can trigger changes in the body that make muscles spasm. In addition, excess sugar can also trigger obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.


Consuming a lot of salt can cause high blood pressure, kidney problems, and heart and blood vessel disease.
What also needs to be watched out for, a study shows that preservatives, artificial food coloring, and other additives are thought to play a role in increasing hyperactive behavior in children.

Before you buy food, it is highly recommended to read the composition of the ingredients, including the additives used. You should limit the consumption of processed foods that contain lots of additives, and choose natural foods for daily serving.