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How are food additives classified

Here is a quick and ready reckoner that provides an easy to understand classification system for the food additives used today.

  • 100-199 Colours
  • 200-299 Preservatives and Food Acids
  • 300-399 Antioxidants, Mineral Salts and Food Acids
  • 400-499 Emulsifiers, Humectants, Vegetable Gums and Processing Aids
  • 500-599 Anti Caking Agents, Firming Agents, Stabilisers and Processing Aids
  • 600-899 Flavour Enhancers
  • 900-1201 Sweetening Agents, Bleaching Agents, Propellants, Antifoaming Agents
  • 1400-1450 Thickeners
  • 1505-1521 Sequestrants and Solvents

Of course not every additive is potentially harmful but its helpful to at least know the broad categories used by manufacturers, especially when they choose to only list the numerical value of additives on ingredients labels and not the chemical name in its full form.

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Lindy Schneider is a writer and researcher with a keen interest in health, wellbeing and natural childcare. She is an advocator of a chemical-free lifestyle in the best interests of her family, the community and a sustainable world. She lives in the Yarra Valley with her partner and two young children.

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