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Food Additives

Although an almost derogatory word, it should be born in mind that modern labelling even considers salt and pepper to be in this category

While in the U.S.A these are listed by name, in the EC these are given E numbers, whether they are natural - such as caramel (E150) or synthetic (such as various dyes). Those used for Colouring have numbers beginning in 1; preservatives begin with 2; antioxidants (which are essentially in stopping factory-made food going rancid) have numbers from E300 to E322 (E300 being vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid), while general stabilizers take up the remaining 300"s. Emulsifiers, including several gums (maintaining sauces etc in a stable condition, so they don"t separate), begin with the number 4; while anti-caking agents all begin with 5"s. Six"s are all flavour-enhancers, such as Monosodium Glutamate. Numbers in the 7 & 8 hundreds are so far no used; while the 900,s include the likes of glazing and improving agents and a few isolated flavourings. Some are extremely off-putting - E920, amino acid L-cysteine, used as a synthetic chicken flavour, is actually made from feathers and hair. See "Cancer, relation of, to additives"; "E numbers"; 'Food'; "Pesticides";

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