Food Additives

We've been told to steer clear of foods riddled with artificial colours and flavours.

"We mainly just avoid numbers that's the big thing we look for any preservatives, flavourings"

And for good reason Frances Costanzo has a severe anaphylactic reaction to any products that contain msg or flavour enhancers. And so after a number of serious attacks she was made a point of picking products that contained only natural ingredients.

"It said all natural, no msg and no flavour enhancers and because it says no msg and no flavour enhancers I bought it" But that was no guarantee after eating this artificial free vegetable stock she almost died. "As I was sitting down I started coughing um, I took some ventalin it didn't help the coughing got worse, my throat felt tight, I was starting to get dizzy"

Sue Dengate is the founder of the food intolerance network she says many people choose products containing all natural ingredients belieiving them to be a better option. "There are some natural colours, flavours and ingredients that can cause as many problems as artificial colours and flavours""The ingredient in the product that I reacted to was hydrolised vegetable protein"

While it is a natural ingredient it is just as potent.

"Yeast extract, hydrolised vegetable protein and MSG are chemically identical" Food scientist howard dengate says consumers are being fooled by manufacturers who are replacing msg and other nasties with these natural alternatives.

"This chicken instant noodle says no added MSG you turn it over and look at the ingredients panel it has flavor enhancer 620 which is glutamic acid as soon as it arrives in the food its MSG, it's the same stuff"

While it appears to be healthier natural doesn't necessarily mean identical to nature.

"Hydrolised vegetable protein and yeast extract, they are boiled up with hydro chloric acid and neutralized with hydro chloric soda" In fact we need to be just as wary of some natural additives as we do artifical ones.

"They can have lollies like Allen's snakes for example and have little reaction if none at all, but if they have the products with the natural colours and flavours in them, they are the ones that we have troubles with in our family" Emma Lyndon noticed dramatic changes in her three boys after they ate certain foods. "Tom my eldest whose nine he used to have a lot of trouble sleeping, settling at night, he said his mind wouldn't stop moving, "I had my younger son, Jack, who was developing a rash around his face"

While creams and medications treated the symptoms she couldn't get to the crux of the problem. "It wasn't until I went to Sue Dengates talks and there was a light bulb moment as i watched she was describing as certain symptoms" According to Sue Dengate natural colour 120 is one of the biggest instigators added to many popular kids snack foods. "120 is a natural colour thats because its made from crushed beetles, and therefore can have protein can cause true food allergies"

160 b or Annatto is another natural colour to avoid. "160b in my opinion is one of the worst additives on the market because it can cause food intolerance reactions and it can cause true allergies because it is made from a seed coat and contamination for the seed can cause the allergies" It's found in a variety of foods - including yoghurts, icecream, lollies and soups and can cause some serious side effects. "Irritability, restlessness, inattention, sleep disturbance but you've also got physical problems, such as stomach aches, headaches, asthma, and itchy skin rashes. By eliminating the products with natural colours and additives in our diet we've had no further problems"

Esme Barratt has done the same for her family. "Im convinced that the additives in fact removing them from the diet changed our kids behavior completely" Even her kids have noticed the difference.

"I get into a lot less fights with my sister; I don't get much nightmares anymore"

For more information on natural and artificial additives to avoid and to learn more about food intolerances head to The Food Intolerance Network website.