Advertise on this site

Holiday Apartment Benalmadena



Archived information



E Number Index
Additives known to cause tantrums
What additives do
Understanding food labelling
Fruit & vegetables for health
Salt and Sodium
Salt & sodium in children's foods
Herbs and Spices
Foods to improve health
Good food suppliers
Food news
Terms of use
Contact us
Advertise on this site


Information displayed on archived pages may be out of date and or inaccurate due to the age of the information displayed, in some case information dates from 2002.

Children’s foods and drinks containing the additives Sunset Yellow (E110), Ponceau 4R (E124), Carmoisine (E122) and Sodium Benzoate (E211).
These additives have been shown to cause temper tantrums and disruptive behaviour in up to a quarter of toddlers - Childrens food and drink

Kelloggs Winders 2003

Kelloggs Real Fruit Winders are a snack product marketed directly at children, proclaiming that they are ' tremendously tasty and over 50% fruit'. So they may be, however the fruit content is processed and contains a meagre 1.5% fibre, and the sugar content is a massive 36%. Not a product to feed your children if you wish to avoid frequent visits to the dentist, and certainly not to be considered as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Ingredients (Blackcurrant flavour):
Fruit (67%) (Pear puree from concentrate, blackcurrant puree from concentrate (20%), glucose syrup, maltodextrin, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil, colour: anthocyanins E163, gelling agent: pectin E440, emulsifiers: mono and diglycerides of fatty acids E471, natural blackcurrant flavouring, citric acid E330, antidoxant: absorbic acid E300, acidity regulator: sodium citrate E331, malic acid E296. ( As per 2nd March 2003)

Cadbury's Sport Campaign 2003

The chocolate manufacturer Cadbury is launching a £9m campaign to persuade children to buy 160m chocolate bars, containing nearly 2m kg of fat, in exchange for "free" sports equipment for their schools. It says the initiative will help to tackle obesity.

The marketing scheme, called Cadbury Get Active, is being promoted with the Youth Sport Trust through schools. It has been endorsed by the minister for sport, Richard Caborn. It also uses sports stars Paula Radcliffe and Audley Harrison to link the brand with healthy activity.

To earn the equipment, schoolchildren will have to collect tokens from the main brands of Cadbury chocolate. A set of posts and net for volleyball for secondary schoolchildren would require, for example, tokens from 5,440 chocolate bars!!

Sunny Delight

Procter and Gamble's Sunny Delight beverage contains more sugar per 500 ml bottle, than the entire reccomended daily allowance for children!


Water, fruit juice 15% (Orange, Lime, Mandarin and Grapefruit juice), Citric acid (E330), Vegetable oil, Preservative : Polyphosphate (E452), Modified Starch, Natural Flavourings, Vitamin C, Thickener: Guar Gum (E412), Preservative: Potassium Sorbate (E202), Sweetners: Acesulfame K (E950) and Aspartame (E951), Thickners: Xanthan Gum (E415) and Gellan Gum (E418), Beta-Carotene (Pro-Vitamin A), Vitamin B6, Thiamin (Vitamin B1).

Irradiated foods

bodies and industry groups as the answer to the growing problem of food poisoning, and as a means to combat world hunger by reducing spoilage and extending food shelf life A proposal to relax the global standards governing food irradiation, including the removal of the current maximum irradiation dose limit, is now under discussion. The European Commission is also deliberating over whether to extend its list of foods permitted for irradiation in all EU member states. The current list includes only herbs, spices and vegetable seasonings, but the possible extension would mean many other foods could be irradiated in all member states. Yet consumer concerns persist over the numerous potential negative impacts of irradiating food.
Food irradiation can result in loss of nutrients, for example vitamin E levels can be reduced by 25% after irradiation and vitamin C by 5-10%. This is compounded by the longer storage times of irradiated foods, and by loss of nutrients during cooking, which can result in the food finally eaten by the consumer to contain little more than 'empty calories'. This is potentially damaging to the long and short-term health of consumers, particularly for sections of society already failing to obtain adequate nutrition.
When food is exposed to high doses of ionising radiation, the chemical composition and nutritional content of food can change. Radiolytic by-products are often formed in irradiated food. Very few of these chemicals have been adequately studied for toxicity. One such chemical - 2-DCB - can cause DNA damage in rat colon cells at high doses.
Food irradiation does not inactivate dangerous toxins which have already been produced by bacteria prior to irradiation. In some cases, such as C. botulinum, it is the toxin produced by the bacteria, rather than the bacteria itself, which poses the health hazard.
Extension of the EU list of foods permitted for irradiation could mean that in future a significant part of the diet of consumers will consist of irradiated foods. The long-term impacts of this to health remain unknown. Far more research is required prior to exposing populations to such a diet.
Irradiating products such as mechanically recovered chicken meat, offal and egg white, could mislead consumers into thinking these are safer. There is therefore a risk that consumers will fail to take necessary measures to prevent cross-contamination. The risk of recontamination of food after irradiation is very serious as a near sterile food is an ideal medium for very rapid growth of re-introduced bacteria. Irradiated food must therefore be handled with even greater care in homes and restaurants.
Irradiation can cause mutations in bacteria and viruses leading to potentially resistant strains.
[The Food Commission]
Back to top

Baby biscuits

Biscuits specially designed for babies and toddlers are sweeter than jam tarts and doughnuts, according to a report from the watchdog Food Commission today.
Sweet biscuits are the number one cause of tooth decay in infants aged 1 - 2 years. A new generation of highly-sugared biscuits, snacks and cereal bars are coming onto the market -- despite government warnings to avoid giving sweet snacks to children.
The Food Commission survey found 50% sugar in Nestlé Fruit Stick and 37% in Boots Teddy Bear biscuits, compared with 36% in a jam tart. Traditional Farley's Rusks (29%) have more sugar than a chocolate digestive (27%).
And so-called 'reduced sugar' products from Farleys (21%) and Hipp (21%) had more sugar than a jam doughnut (19% sugar). Government advice tells parents to cut back on sweet foods between meals -- yet Nestlé describes its sweetest products as 'ideal snacks' and 'fun snacks'.
Only five out of the 22 products examined were virtually sugar free. But one of these products -- Nestle Sesame Sticks -- contained sesame seeds, an ingredient which is second only to nuts as a cause of severe allergic reactions.
'The baby food regulations are very weak,' said the report's author, Dr Tim Lobstein. 'Manufacturers exploit this in order to label highly sweetened products as specially suitable for infants. Parents should look carefully at the small print and put the highly sweetened brands back on the shelf.'
Biscuits are children's most commonly-eaten sweet food, with more than twice as many 2-year olds eating biscuits daily as drinking sweetened juices or fruit drinks. And biscuits are strongly linked to an increased risk of tooth damage, with 11% of frequent biscuit eaters getting damaged teeth before they are 30 months old, compared with 1% of infants who eat biscuits less than once a day.

Additives do cause temper tantrums!

Food additives can cause behaviour changes in toddlers, even in those who have no history of hyperactivity. A government-funded study by the UK's Asthma & Allergy Research Centre concluded that all children could benefit from the removal of specified artificial food colourings from their diet.

This is the first time that a UK government-sponsored scientific study has corroborated the link between food colourings and preservatives and changes in children's mood and behaviour. For decades, concerns expressed by parents have often been dismissed by food manufacturers and government as anecdotal and lacking in scientific evidence, even though serious behavioural changes can cause much distress in families until they are able to identify the cause of the trouble and eliminate additive-laden foods from their children's diets.

This study could have profound implications for the government's food and nutrition policy. As the researchers point out, 'the potential long-term public health benefit that might arise is indicated by the follow-up studies that have shown that the young hyperactive child is at risk of continuing behavioural difficulties including the transition to conduct disorder and educational difficulties'.

A group of 277 three-year-olds from the Isle of Wight took part in the research, which lasted one month. For two weeks, the children drank fruit juice dosed with 20mg in total of artificial colourings (E102, E110, E122, E124), and 45mg of preservative (E211). For the other two weeks, children drank a placebo fruit juice, identical in appearance, but without the additives. Parents then filled reports assessing behaviour such as 'interrupting', 'fiddling with objects', 'disturbing others', 'difficulty settling down to sleep', 'concentration' and 'temper tantrums'.

The researchers estimate that if the problem additives were removed from all children's diets in the UK, the rate of hyperactivity would go down from one child in six to one child in 17
Analysis of the results showed that 'the impact of artificial food colourings and sodium benzoate preservative on three-year-old children's hyperactive behaviour indicate substantial effects detectable by parents'.

The researchers went further, stating that 'significant changes in children's hyperactive behaviour could be produced by the removal of colourings and additives from their diet. The findings of the present study suggest that benefit would accrue for all children from such a change and not just for those already showing hyperactive behaviour or who are at risk of allergic reactions'.

Kids' drink Yazoo boasts 'NO artificial sweeteners, NO preservatives' but doesn't shout so loud about the colouring E124 which has been added to give an impression of strawberry colour. Walkers use Tartrazine to colour their Footballs snack and Smarties contain both Ponceau 4R and Sunset Yellow.
The new research will strengthen parents' calls for the removal of problem additives from children's foods and drinks. We understand that the colourings tested in this research have been restricted in other countries, such as the US, Norway and Denmark, in order to protect children.

The suspect additives tested in the Food Standards Agency study may be described on food labels either by their technical name, or by their 'E' number. These are the names and 'E' numbers to watch out for.

Tartrazine E102
Sunset Yellow E110
Carmoisine E122
Ponceau 4R E124

Sodium Benzoate E211

Many children's foods and drinks contain additives. They are the colourings and flavourings that make these products especially attractive to children. A Food Commission survey showed that 38% of children's food contained additives, in products that were likely to form a large part of children's diets. The survey did not even include soft drinks, confectionery and chocolate, birthday cakes and crisps.

The Food Commission has long maintained that not only may these additives affect children's behaviour, they are often used to give cosmetic appeal to poor ingredients - depriving children of valuable nutrients. The Food Commission research found that additives in children's food, especially colourings and flavourings, are frequently used in products that are high in fat, salt and/or sugar, and low in nutritious ingredients. The survey found 41% of the children's food products were nutritionally very poor, but contained added colour.

Research published this year by the food firm Organix found colourings were used in:
78% of children's desserts;
42% of children' milkshakes;
93% of children's sweets;
18% of cereal bars;
24% of children's cheeses;
23% of children's cereals;
14% of dried fruit packs;
41% of children's drinks;
32% of crisps and savoury snacks;
15% of children's frozen burgers..

A common defence for the use of colourings and other additives in children's food is that they have been shown to be toxicologically safe, so there is considered to be no problem. But behaviour change in children isn't one of the things toxicologists test for. A Food Standards Agency survey of colours used in sweets, published in April, looked only for evidence that companies were using colourings at their correct strength, and that they had complied with labelling regulations. However, our own analysis of the FSA survey results shows that over half (55 per cent) of the sweets tested contained the colourings shown by the present research to provoke behaviour change in toddlers. [Food Commission]