What to look out for on Food labels – Part 2


Nutrient labels are there to provide the nutritional value of all the components and ingredients in the particular item you are consuming, including food additives. 

Food additives are substances that are not usually consumed on their own as food and are not typically characteristic ingredients of food. They are usually added during the processing of foods, and they can become direct or indirect components of foods or their by-products.

Each food additive is assigned an “E” number once they have been deemed safe through testing by the European Union.

(E=Europe). Because many chemical compounds and additives have long and complicated names, the E numbers allow for them to be understood universally.

The different categories and functional classifications that food additives fall under include sweeteners, colourants, antioxidants, and preservatives as listed below.

  • 100 to 199: Food colouring
  • 200 to 299: Preservatives
  • 300 to 399: Antioxidants
  • 400 to 499: Thickeners, emulsifiers, and stabilisers
  • 500 to 599: Acidity regulators and anti-caking agents
  • 600 to 699: Flavour enhancers, including monosodium glutamate (E621) or MSG.
  • 700 to 999: Sweeteners, foaming agents, and gases, including aspartame (E951)

Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 6 October 2022 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am