by: Bon à Savoir • 58
An application of the magazines Bon à Savoir, K-Tipp ans Spendere Meglio
Food is increasingly « completed » with additives (colorants, conservatives, firming agents, flavor enhancers, etc.) often indicated on the labels, but sometimes in coded form: an E, followed by a number between 3 and 4 digits. Thus, the flavor enhancers, in certain soups, identified as E 621, E 627 and E 631 on the packaging have the following translation (which you will not find on the label): they are respectively, glutamate, guanylate and sodium inosinate. All three can trigger allergic reactions, asthma and are thus not recommended to people sensitive to them: you will not find the latter information on the label either!
Our application will allow you to decode what the industry is trying to hide from you, by not only informing you of the risks and eventual contra-indications for people on a special diet (vegetarian, gluten, etc), but also by explaining the use of each additive and in which foods they are often used.
This is the result of summary work conducted by our editors with the help of sixteen carefully documented and much diversified sources. From them, we have extracted and gathered information, which is clearly referenced in the application, and noted each additive according to the following criteria :
• Safe: no source indicates a risk.
• Some doubts: at least one source refers to a risk.
• Substantial risks: several sources indicate the same risks.
• To be avoided: a majority of sources recommend that this additive be avoided.
• No risk info: the sources give insufficient information or none at all on the risks.
Furthermore, for each product we indicate if it is authorised in Switzerland and in the European Union. For the latter we base our information on the new Regulation CE 1130/2011 that came into force on 2nd December 2013. When the product is banned in other countries, we indicate it at the top of the risks. We update those data as we receive information about any reliable changes.
For each additive, we mention the ADI (acceptable daily intake), which is the maximum dose of the additive that can be consumed daily by a person throughout their lifetime, without the JECFA experts (Joint Experts Committee for Food Additives) estimating that there is a danger. When known, it is expressed in milligrams of substance per kilogram of body weight. But the experts have often given up specifying it. More rare: we did not find any information about it. Sources: "Les nouveau guide des additifs", Anne-Laure Denans, 2017, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) update sheets.
We also indicated when additives are not recommended by specialists, and more specifically when they are not indicated for children and babies. Source: "Les additifs alilmentaires", Hélène Letellier (First Edition, 2013).
Finally, we report additives that are "misleading" and / or "useless". Understand that their use only serves to mask quality defects, and therefore provide no benefit to consumers. Source: Food Additives Calculator, www.testachats.be
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Tags: risk assessment for e numbers , e numbers open source , enumbers