1. Health

Learn About Food Additives

Learn about food additives and ingredients that are used in processed foods.

Are Natural Ingredients Better Than Artificial Ingredients?
Companies often put the word "natural" on their labels because they believe more people will buy them. Are natural ingredients always better than artificial ingredients? Learn more.

Common Food Additives
Most food additives are ingredients that help preserve or enhance the flavor of processed foods. Here's a list of some of the most common food additives.

Food Additives That May Be Good for You
Nutritional ingredients are a special class of food additives that have health benefits. They include supplemental vitamins, minerals, probiotics and antioxidants. Learn more about these ingredients.

Learn About Artificial Colorings
Both kids and grownups like foods with bright colors and most processed foods would be pretty dull with them. Learn more about artificial colorings and find out if they're safe.

Artificial Sweeteners: Safety and Information
Zero-calorie sweeteners are sometimes called non-nutritive or artificial sweeteners. They're Food additives that are extremely sweet, so you only need a tiny amount, so they don't add any calories to your diet.

What You Need to Know About BHA and BHT
Two additives that keep fats and oils fresh in processed foods. Learn how BHA and BHT protect freshness and where you'll find them.

What is Calcium Propionate?
This is a food additive that works as a preservative in bread and baked goods. Learn more about calcium propionate.

What is Carrageenan?
Carrageenan is a food additive that's extracted from seaweed. It's used to thicken and stabilize foods like ice cream, sauces and salad dressings.

What You Need to Know About Monosodium Glutamate
This flavor enhancer improves the taste of savory foods, but it's also high in sodium. Sodium glutamate ingestion may lead to "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" and many people claim to be sensitive to sodium glutamate. Learn more.

What is Citric Acid?
Citric acid enhances flavor and preserves foods. It's most common in processed fruits, juices and soft drinks. Learn more about citric acid.

What You Need to Know About Sulfites
Sulfites are added to foods to help keep them fresh longer. They also occur naturally in some cases. Learn more about sulfites, safety, and which foods have the highest levels.

What You Need to Know About Sodium Benzoate
Sodium benzoate is a preservative added to acidic foods such as fruit products to help keep them fresh and improve the flavor. Learn more about sodium benzoate.

Do You Avoid Food Additives?
Tell About.com readers how you feel about using food additives. Do you avoid them, or are they no big deal?

Of Beaver Butts and Castoreum
Castoreum is made from a secretion that comes from a beaver's anal glands. Oddly enough it smells nice so it's used in perfumes and flavorings.

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