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Any substances added to food to help to prevent or slow fermentation, acidification or other decomposition.
Most processed food has added preservative, some of the most popular being benzoic acid, benzoates, sulphur dioxide, and particularly sulphites - which have the reputation of triggering allergic reactions - such as asthma - in susceptible people.
If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.