Food Additives and Childhood Behaviour

Topics: Food additive, E number, Flavor Pages: 3 (1077 words) Published: June 20, 2013

As parents are becoming more cautious of the things they are giving to their children, they are starting to question whether the food and drink they provide is safe to consume with close to every food and drink product containing additives. This essay is aimed at looking at what additives are and what they’re used for, how they affect behaviour and what parents should be aware of. Food additives are man-made chemicals that are used to enhance colour, flavour and texture. For more than 30 years additives have been added to food to keep them fresher for longer. Food additives are divided into 16 different categories depending on their function (refer to Appendix A). Even though there are additives designed to make food healthier, a large majority of additives are added with the intention to make food more aesthetically pleasing and have become much less plant based and much more synthetic. A study of 277 three year old children over a period of a month regarding the possible link between dangerous food additives and colours to abnormal behaviours in children. (Caryl, Email, accessed 5th Sept 2012). A number of additives such as Annatto, anisyl formate, a-ionone & ethyl heptanoat which all have been related to other behavioural problems like, irritability, hyperactivity, sleeplessness, defiance and hysteria. These additives are most commonly found in products like baby yogurts, custards, margarine and processed foods which are mostly consumed by younger children. In June 2011, Aldi publicized the reformulation of its exclusive brands cutting out the additives sunset yellow (E110), quinoline yellow (E104), carmoisine (E122), allura red (E129, tartazine (E102) & ponceau (E124). All six colourings have been linked to hyperactivity by a test conducted in the UK in 2007, after the changes Michael Kloeters, Group managing director Aldi stores, stated “we chose not to wait for it to legislate in Australia as we believe the...
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