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What is Food Additive?

They are substances that are not consumed as food alone. They are not the characteristic ingredient of food. They may be nutritive, but the reasons for their use are not their nutritive value". For example: E 300 is Ascorbic acid. Chemically Ascorbic acid is Vitamin C. However, when used as an additive, as an antioxidant in a foodstuff (to prevent browning) or to balancing sourness (as an acidity regulator), it is no longer a nutrient. In this case as an additive on the label is indicated by the chemical name or E number.

In the production of some products, the use of certain food additives is essential. Whether our product is produced at home or in the industry this additive is used.

If we continue with a few examples:

During cake production we use baking powders or carbonates. If we do not use any of these items (or sometimes both) our product does not show the expected specifications. Meaning, it does not grow into a spongy-like structure. Carbonate is a food additive with number E 500. The baking powder is a group of phosphates E 338, 339, 340. We use them in homemade products.
. there are browning foods during production. Like an artichoke ... Like an apple ... When we process artichokes often we rub them with lemon or we keep them in a mixture including lemon salt. We add some lemon juice into the fruit salad and mix. So the apples will not become brown. The process we do is to use antioxidants to prevent oxidation in both cases. Lemon salt is Citric acid numbered E 330. However, it is not like this in lists that reach us everyday by many channels especially social media. . The lists tell us that E 330 is a harmful substance. You, as conscious consumers, should reach the right information.

What's E Number?

E number is the code indicating the suitability of food additives for food use. It contains the first letter of the word "Europe”. E is an indication that a food additive has passed international safety assessments and is being used within the rules.

The numbers written next to E code show colorants if between 100 and 200, preservatives if between 200 and 300.


CLICK HERE for a full list of legal additive substances for use.

Which Substances are Not Food Additives?

Majority of people believe that many substances such as milk powder, milk protein, salt, starch-based sugar, fructose / glucose mixture, chewing gum bases areare food additives, but they are not additives however these are foodstuffs themselves.

To give a few examples of food, that is commonly thought of as an additive: , Milk powder, milk powder is a product that is made by removing the water from milk. . That is to say, it is the milk itself. That's why statements as “the yogurt contains additives, because it has milk powder” are wrong

Likewise, starch-based sugars are also sugar, as the name shows. With the simple processes we do in our homes, we actually produce this kind of sugar. To prevent the crystallization, we squeeze lemon into the sugar syrup. The reason is to decompose sugar into smaller molecules, named glucose and fructose.

Under Which Conditions and Why Are The Food Additives Used?

Food additives are used if there is a technological necessity which cannot be achieved by another method. For this reason, the use of an additive in one product may be legal for technological reasons, while its use in another product may be restricted for technological reasons. To give an example: while an anti-caking agent is legally used in dry-powdered foods because of their caking problem, cannot be used in a liquid product or cooked product, because they do not have this kind of problem

Food additives are used if they do not pose a health risk, according to existing scientific evidence.

Food additives are used if there is no other economically and technologically feasible method to satisfy the need

And most importantly, food additives are used if they do not mislead.

In order for a food additive to be used in food, it must meet all the above conditions. Moreover, all food additives must meet the specified purity criteria. The purity criteria of food additives which must meet are determined at the international level and published in the official gazette.

How are the Safety Activities of Food Additives Made? What is ADI?

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) evaluate additives used in foods in order to ensure that the short and long term effects are continuously monitored by considering the changing and developing scientific data and techniques.As a result of these evaluations, it is allowed or not allowed to be used considering acceptable intake and human health. These assessments are being re-established not only for new additives to be searched, but also for those who are still in use, at certain time intervals or when needed.

Our country is a candidate of the European Union as well as the noble members of both organizations. For this reason, WHO and FAO, as well as EFSA's assessments, have to be considered in the rules developed in our country.

The Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is defined as an estimate of the amount of a food additive, expressed on a bodyweight basis that can be ingested on a daily basis over a lifetime without appreciable risk to health

Considering ADI and daily consumption of the food, the maximum level determined for each food and each additive

Are The Food Additives Which are Not Used in EU or Developed Countries Used in Our Country?

Not only the rules governing food additives, but the rules governing food safety in general are in harmony with FAO / WHO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization / World Health Organization) and EU (European Union) in our Country. The scientific basis is the same. It is not possible that the rules are incompatible and contradictory in the century that international food trade is so widespread.

All food additives used in our country are approved additives used in EU Countries and in USA.

Otherwise it is a matter to put in risking their own health by tending to the informal products in which additives used irregularly or at home by adding inappropriate substances to food as an additives to avoid industrial products

Does All Foods Contain Food Additives?

No, they do not contain. There is no such technical necessity in the production process of some foods. There is no use of additives in these foods. For example: Unprocessed foods, honey, butter, oils, sugar, etc.

In some foods, as long as proper steps are taken during production process, since there will be no need for additive use, additives are not used. Examples of these products are pasteurized and Ultra high temperature processing-UHT milk however a few people who claim themselves as experts insist that there are additives in these products), pasteurized / plain cream and plain yoghurt, etc.

The use of additives in some products is limited as almost nonexisting. An important part of these are basic foodstuffs. Like bread, fruit juice and nectar...

Regulations on the use of additives in baby foods are much more protective and restrictive.

How are the food additives in the food indicate on the label?

The food additives on the label are included in the list of ingredients. The E number or name of food additives is mentioned in the list following the intended use.

For example: Acidity regulator acetic acid or acidity regulator E 300, etc

There are warning provisions on the labels of food containing certain food additives. To give a few examples;

The label of foods containing Sunset yellow (E 110), quinoline yellow (E 104), carmoisine (E 122), allura red (E 129), tartrazine (E 102) and ponso 4R (E124) should have a statement like “It may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

If the product contains aspartame / aspartame-acesulfame salt and these additives are listed on the ingredients list with only the E code, the phrase "contains aspartame (phenylalanine source)” should be written.

Food labels containing more than 10% added polyols should include the phrase " excessive consumption may induce laxative effect."

The labels of the food additives packaged intended to sell to the final consumer should be included following information;

A sales description sheet containing the name of each additive in this Regulation and the E code or the name of each additive and the E code,

The statement ‘for food’ or the statement ‘restricted use in food’ or a more specific reference to its intended food use;

The name of the source from which the food additive is derived,

The type of animal from which the animal food additive is derived.

Do not buy or consume food additives that are not clearly labeled as food additives and do not have name and E number information and do not contain a business registration number on their label!

Do the food products produced at home, in the village, not contain food additives?

Are There Additives that are sold Directly to Consumer?

Yes, of course there are. The most typical food additives sold directly to the consumer are baking powders, lemon salt, sweeteners. Recently, food colours are among the additives that are attractive to consumers. For some food, we also act as an additive. Lemon comes at the top of these materials. To prevent browning (artichoke, apple, etc.), rubbing with lemon and mixing mean using antioxidants

Food additives materials are not only used in the industry.

Information on the label of food additives that are sold directly to the final consumer should include the following items in addition to the mandatory label information:

The name and E-number of each food additive in this regulation or a sales description which includes the name and E-number of each food additive,

The statement" for food " or "restircted use in food " or a more specific expression that informs about the intended use of the additives

The name of the source from which the food additive is obtained,

The name of animal species from which food additive is derived.

Do not buy or consume food additives that are not clearly labeled as food additives and do not have name and E number information and do not contain a business registration number on their label!

Do the food products produced at home, in the village, not contain food additives?

Additives That People are Most Curious About

"Information about the four additives on the lists distributed with various channels regarding food additives, which are negative, alleged and intensely curious by the consumer, can be found in the subtitles on the left."

Additives That People are Most Curious About

MSGis the short form of monosodium glutamate. It is also known as "Chinese Salt". It is used as an aroma enhancer in foods. In the conducted researches, it has also been observed that this food additive numbered E 621 has not a negative effect on health. However, since there is a lot of dirty information about it, many consumers think it is a harmful substance.

Additives That People are Most Curious About

Aspartame, enumerated as E 951; is a sweetener used in energy-reduced or sugar-free products. There are claims that it is very poisonous and deadly. There are also news that this food additive is banned in the EU. However, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has already analyzed in terms of its impact on human health and has once again assessed the limits and rules of use and affirmed the correctness of the previous decision. In the scientific evaluation report prepared, it is stated that the decomposition products of aspartame are found in some foods naturally.

Additives That People are Most Curious About

Carmine, is numbered E 120. It is also known as cochineal. It is true that the raw material of it is an insect. In production, proteic substances extracted from the insect of female Dactylopius cocus Costa, Dactylopius cocus Costa is used. It is legal to use it in some foods for red coloring.