Feingold Diet and Autism Ranking: No evidence

Additional Information

According to the NHS Choices website, accessed on 28 June 2017, 

“Food additives are ingredients added to foods for various reasons – for example, to make them last longer.

Common food additives

You’re most likely to see the following types of additives on food labels:

  • Antioxidants stop food going off or changing colour, including foods prepared with fats or oils (such as meat pies or mayonnaise), bakery products, soup mixes and sauces.
  • Colours are used to make food more attractive. They can be natural in origin, such as curcumin (E100), which is a yellow extract of turmeric roots, or artificial, such as tartrazine (E102).
  • Emulsifiers, stabilisers, gelling agents and thickeners prevent foods from separating and give food body and texture. For example, pectin (E440) is the most common gelling agent and is used in jam.
  • Flavour enhancers bring out the flavour in foods without adding their own flavour. For example, monosodium glutamate (E621) or MSG is used in processed foods such as soups and sauces.
  • Preservatives keep food safe to eat for longer. For example, nitrite and nitrate (E249 to E252) are used in bacon, ham, corned beef and other cured meats, to stop bacteria from growing.
  • Sweeteners are used with or instead of sugar to make food taste sweet. Examples include aspartame (E951), saccharin (E954) and sorbitol (E420)”.

According to the Food Standards Agency website, accessed on 11 September 2017, 

“…certain artificial food colours and the preservative sodium benzoate could be linked to increased hyperactivity in some children.”

“A European Union-wide mandatory warning must be put on any food and drink …that contains any of the six colours. The label must carry the warning ‘may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

Related Additional Information

01 Nov 2017
Last Review
01 Sep 2017
Next Review
01 Sep 2020