Examples of Food Additives that Add Life to Food and Shorten “Life” : Why Additives in Food Are Harmful to Health

Food additives add life to food

Have you wonder about what makes food lasts in cans, provide nice colors, thickens and what make it more appealing and you want to eat them right away? That is food additives in the making. How about garlic, vinegar, herbals and salt -- they are food additives and seasonings as well. Some food additives are already here for many centuries and our ancestors are using them like salts, vinegar and herbals. I use seasoning and food additives and they add life to food, yes, but I always use it in moderation. No way eating a food without a taste except for its natural taste which sometimes sucks (pardon my word) isn’t it? Yes food additives make food lasts, tastes yummier and makes food lasts in cans forever (check with expiration). I will tell you at the onset that food additives are good in moderation, if not then we can never live anymore because almost all the foods in the supermarket anywhere are bombarded with preservatives, coloring, enhancers, emulsifiers etc. We will be obliged to live in a mountain if we don’t eat anything of it. In terms of food additives, I say that moderation is the best. Now let me cook my favorite stir fry with little salt, little monosodium glutamate ((MSG), yes, you read it right) and little soy sauce which makes it more yummier.

food additives and preservatives are found everywhere

Food additives and the search for an easy and tastier -- colorful "life"

The purpose of life is the "search" for an easy and tastier -- colorful "life".  Food additives add "life" and make life easier -- because you just pour it and at an instant your food will be yummier, no natural juicing of natural food etc.

For many of you who are following me, you know that I love research, I like to read about anything and look at findings in every facet of life, sports (I love sports -- football, basketball, Olympic plu winter sports, dancing (it is sports for me -- well figure skating), health, foods and nutrition, family and relationship, anything of value, well of course all topics, poetry, science and all are of values specially topics which are related to life’s improvement.

To add to what I have stated above, I would like to day that the overall aim of life is -- living a life which is easy, healthy and meaningful in order to achieve full life expectancy or living life to the maximum. Others like me, find comfort in searching for lifes meaning in spiritual terms and some find comfort in the more scientific ways. That is why inventions, discovery and technology seems to sprout everyday in search for what makes life easier. Basically that is the purpose of science, religions and all field of endeavor -- the goal of all research is centered on humanities search for “how to make life easier and understanding what is happening around humans. The search for truth and making life comfortable is the search for knowledge.

Food additives are here to stay because it is part of the food we eat

Wow, that’s an introduction for a topic about food additives and what’s food additive got to do with it, you may want to ask. And so what is this got to do with my topic today which is food additives? It is some and everything indeed. It is because food additives are part of the food we eat, part of it when they packaged, store and make food. It also adds “taste” to food. It appeals to our gustatory nerves in short.

Food additives are here because we want to satisfy our basic need - food nourishment. It is part of our human life to partake food and we want the food we eat to satisfy us, our basic satisfaction. That’s why we even add food additives to make it palatable and to look appealing. That’s why is restaurants, the manner in which food is presented with spices, colorings and different add ons like herbs etc. herbs are best add ons by the way for food to make it more enticing.

Incorporating some food additives in your cooking

  1. Some food additives are useful in moderation like salt - sodium chloride which should be taken in moderation always. I use salt in meat products and poultry and when I cook some vegetables, stir fry vegetables.
  2. I also use vinegar in marinating meat products and for vegetables.
  3. Wheat flours -- I use this for baking and yes I cheat I use only half the amount recommended in the cookbook.
  4. I use herbals like oregano, onion sprouts, garlic for seasoning as well, but always in moderation
  5. I use soy sauce for pork, poultry and vegetables, half the amount recommended.
  6. I use natural juice, buy oranges and fruits, juice them and then put little sugar on it instead of colas and sodas
  7. I minimize chips and other fun foods, but I treat myself once in a week.


Food additives should be taken in moderate amount

Let me tell you at the onset that according to researches by many scientific agencies food additives are safe if it is taken in moderate amount, make sense to me because what if you are from New York and you can't grow your own food, of course if you buy natural foods from farmers market or supermarket, they are still preserved in some form so that it will last. The World Health Organizations, Cancer Society of America and Food Drugs Administration and the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food. Regulations in European Union, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives which are working together to test the safety of many food additives they recommend what they call Acceptable Daily Intakes of food additives.

What are food additives?

  • In general food additives are the things you add to a food to make it more tastier, smells good, make it more appetizing by the color and to preserve it more when you put them in the can. Preservatives are included as food additives. Additives and preservatives are utilized to maintaining= foods quality-consistency-maintains its nutritional values, provide it to thicken and maintain tastiness. Food additives are classified as:
  1. Direct additives: those that we intend to add
  2. Indirect additives : Those that are added when you packaged foods, store or when they are processed.

Kinds of food additives

  1. Additives for killing microbes -- Vinegar and salts are form of food additives which is used for preservatives and to prevent microbes from spoiling it.
  2. Color additives -- artificial colors so that the food may look tasty and for food appeals
  3. Antioxidants -- example of this is citrus fruits, Vitamin A fruits and vegetable to fight free radicals which destroys human cell. The advantage of antioxidants against prevention and cure of cancer is debatable. Antioxidants like herbals are goods and those that we can get form natural foods is best
  4. Artificial Additives for flavoring purposes-- these additives are used so that the food becomes tastier like monosodium glutamate, vanilla, sugar plus salt.
  5. Food additives that add to nutrients -- examples are foods which are canned and you can see that in the label, like all kinds of Vitamins which are added during enrichment and fortification.
  6. Food additives which are used for discoloration and to avoid for food to become rancid and some examples of this are acidic foods like tartaric, citric etc.
  7. Food additives for thickening -- these are added for food to thicken like emulsifier, in nice cream and jellies.
  8. Food additives which acts as bleaching agents --: examples of these are wheat flour and cheese for whitening foods

these foods contains all preservative and food additives

Some food additives enumerated here are to be avoided and some to be taken in moderation

I use some of these food additives but with moderation, but for the last five items try to avoid it!

  1. Herbal food additives -- I use herbal like rosemary for food to smell good as well as oregano, garlic and other seasoning as well. It is safer and I don't use those in pack, the fresher one is preferred.
  2. White sugar -- Some foods -- fruits and carrots contain sugar, but watch out for foods with added sugars, such as baked goods, cereals, crackers, even sauces other processed foods.
  3. Sodium chloride --A dash of sodium chloride, more commonly known as salt, can certainly bring flavor to your meal. But salt is another hidden food additive that can lead to health issues.Sodium nitrite which are found in chips etc.
  4. Vinegar -- I use this for marinating pork and poultry but with moderation
  5. BHA and BHT-- Butyrate hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are additional additives to red flag.
  6. Propyl gallate-- Propyl gallate is another preservative to avoid. It's used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling and is often used in conjunction with BHA and BHT.
  7. Monosodium glutamate --- is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and restaurant food.
  8. Aspartame -- also known by the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal, is an additive found in so-called diet foods such as low-calorie desserts, gelatins, drink mixes and soft drinks.
  9. Acesulfame-K -- This is a relatively new artificial sweetener, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1998 for use in soft drinks.
  10. Food colorings --like blue red, green plus yellow -- You may think that all dangerous artificial food colorings were banned by the FDA long ago, but there are five still on the market that are linked with cancer in animal testing.
  11. Olestra -- a synthetic fat known as the brand name Olean and found in some brands of potato chips, prevents fat from getting absorbed in your digestive system. These are found in Chips, Ruffles, Lays, Doritos.
  12. Potassium bromate -- is rare, but still legal in the U.S., and used as an additive to increase volume in white flour, breads, and rolls.


  1. Now to the question "Do Food Additives add “life” to Food and Shorten “life”; is this true?", well all things that are not natural are to some extent bad, but we cant live without these things in life, they are everywhere and unless we live in a mountain of some sort of isolation and plant our own foods we are still faced with foods that are available in the market. That being said, we should always partake food additives and foods which are rich in it with moderation.
  2. Can they make our life shorter, well, in the past 100 years, life expectancy is increasing, we are dying at later ages, but then quality of life is one thing, and of course lifestyle is a reason for the top causes of death -- high blood, cancer and heart problems. Research can't actually pinpoint exactly up to what percent does bad eating habits or choices can affect life expectancy -- but almost a blind person can see that it does affect your overall health in general. There is nothing wrong in having a healthy food choices and natural is always best like you can use herbal plants for food enhancements.


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Comments 69 comments

kowality profile image

kowality 6 years ago from Everywhere

Hi Maita. The only thing we should add to food is Ketchup or Peanut Butter...mmmmmmm Great hub. ThankYou

RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

Interesting hub Maita.

One of the things that is hard to avoid is that almost everything is linked to cancer in some way, shape or form. Almost everything is a risk factor.

I agree with you. MODERATION!!

Love and hugs,

Forever His,

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

Interesting topic, I try to avoid certain additives and only use in moderation like you said.

I like you, "find comfort in searching for life meaning in spiritual terms."

Great job!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

How in the world were you able to get a picture of my pantry Maita? Ha! And yes, I do use MSG, but very small amounts--no more than a teaspoon's worth when servings are 4 or more, such as in a stir fry. Yes, everything in moderation is okay. I just refuse to have bland, tasteless food (same as you). Awesome work. Salamat,


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Miata, I like this hub and I seeing that long list of additives was surprising even though I knew of them. You included a lot of good information. Good hub.

Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Moderation is the key. Very good hub on food additives.

stricktlydating profile image

stricktlydating 6 years ago from Australia

Great information on this topic.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

Food additives are addictive. They may add favor to our food, prolong shelf life and make food more attractive and appealing but they are like bad eggs--they rot our health in the long run.Thanks for the detailed information and Maita, I always marvel at how fast you can write hubs.

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"Quill" 6 years ago

ItGreat Hub Maita as always...when we look at killer things in the chemical world they are rated as LD (Lethal Dose)...chemicals are added to food and it is allowed as long as it falls under what is called LD. It is fine if that is all you eat is that food, but what of all the other foods we consume...eventually we reach that lethal dose which raises the alarm of cancer etc.

Hugs and Blessings

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

Nice list of additives Maita! Perhaps if we grew "real" crops in good soil and raised animals the way nature intended, we might find that all these additives can be done away with. But then again, the large corporations would be losing their revenue. It takes work, planning, persistance and dedication to eliminate or reduce the amount of additives in our daily consumption. Thanks for writing another terrific hub Maita! xox :)

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

It is not that the big boys worried about our food taste better or keep longer - it is that they try to produce as cheap as possible to get as much profit out of it as possible. All these additives - we don't know how they really work in our body either short term or long. Also how various additives together work in our body. One might counteract the other and cause problems so to speak.

Thank you for such a comprehensive hub.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi hello, you're right and I agree with you, thank you for dropping by, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Beth, you're right, it takes courage too and total dedication to be 100 percent additives free, big corporations play a big part of the overall fight for carcinogens etc, thank you dear, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Quill, good analogy there, lethal does, that's a nice word QUill, killing me softly hehe, Thank you and Bless, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi angel, thank you and I appreciate you dropping by, your comments always lift me up as I know you are health conscious, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

thank you stricktly, maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

thanks Sandy, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Pamela, nice to see you around again, good morning., thank you, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Dohn, hmm, is that your pantry, well one day, I will taste your stir fry with low MSG hehe, thank you, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Revlady, thank you and I am glad you agree with me, moderation, Bless, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Sage, thank you and have a good weekend, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi kowality, thank you, Maita

entertianmentplus profile image

entertianmentplus 6 years ago from United States

Very interesting hub.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

thank you entertianment!

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

I grow most of my own veggies. I would also like to start growing my own meat. Great hub.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

As a learning-cook-in-progress, I now try to cook something fresh every time my wife will let me into the kitchen and I avoid all types of canned or preserved foods. But even frozen fish I suspect has some tupe of preservative?

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Grannys, thank you so much! own meat will be awesome, am happy for you, Can you share some veggies with me, and spring is here so it is fun, Maita

blpelton profile image

blpelton 6 years ago

Great hub! you go girl ! :)

samboiam profile image

samboiam 6 years ago from Texas

Maita, I have so many additives in my system I will be dead for 10 years before I start decomposing.

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Oh oh! my Ate' Maita is on a nutritional kick again. Trying to scare me into healthy good for you habits. But they scare me. If I remove all of the bad unhealthy stuff from my life what will my immune system battle? And if it has nothing left to battle, it might cease to function cuz it has nothing left to do. Hmmmmmmm? Sorta scary ! Yikes!

Thank you Ate' Maita.

KUYA Dave.

Katrina Ariel profile image

Katrina Ariel 6 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada


There are so many packaged and processed foods that use harmful ingredients so their products have longer shelf life or are more appealing. It's important to know what to watch out for, and what is best if you have to choose products with additives. Of course, the best approach is to avoid processed foods altogether, or however much is realistic. Another great hub!

Madison22 profile image

Madison22 6 years ago from NYC

Awesome hub, I learned so much about food additives in this article. Thank you and like you said "moderation" so important. :-)

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi De Greek, yes there are some preservatives on it, even frozen fish hehe, but what the __ sometimes we need to loosen up and moderation is always best, Thank you De Greek, it is always nice to see men who are cooking! thank you really, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Madison, thank you so much dear, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Katrina, you are so right, additives is a silent and slowly killer for all of us, thanks and I am always happy to see you tumbling here in my hub, hehe, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hey Kuya Dave, that's why it is always best to moderate all things in life, like me, I use also MSG and other preservatives but not too much, to add life, thank you Kuya and HUGS, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi samboiam, hehe, you made me smile, thank you, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

hi bl, thank you dear, Maita

tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Maita your research here is excellent. And some additives you mention are certainly useful. Like vinegar and oregano etc. I my self am a big fan of garlic. But I think the additives you find in most processed foods are one of the reasons are kids are so huge now !

I myself picked up a tip from a friend and try to live by it. Which is when I go to the supermarket I go around to the perimeter and try to limit my trips to the middle aisle. Because that is where most of the processed food is .

But ya know I gotta have a beer once in awhile though !

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

hey Tony, thank you, hmm, you're right oregano and vinegar, and beer hehe, you like some, I will supply you with beer from the Philippines, it is called San Miguel Beer, and here in Dallas they have Corona, throw that heineken, just kidding, thank you Tony,take care, Maita

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Terrific hub. It is not easy navigating this complex world, but I try to do the best I can. My philosophy is the age old one. Everything in moderation, nothing to excess.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

thats good breakfastpop, moderation is the best, thank you! Maita

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

Great information Maita...I am definitely going to share and bookmark this one. Nice to see you. Tammy

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hey Tam, thank you dear, Maita

hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

The wonderful thing about many food additives, especially chemical ones, is that you can take rotten food and transform it in a "safe" food. It's like body builders taking steroids: they can eat bad, train bad, sleep bad nevertheless they grow. While natural additives like salt,sugar,herbs and vinegar are pretty safe chemical additives are seen responsible for many diseases we experience now.

To give another example gluten intolerance is thought to derive from wheat while, in reality, it is probably derived from the fact that since 1950 almost all wheat gets irradiated with radioactivity. As a matter of fact durum wheat doesn't exist in nature. It exists thanks to radioactivity. Plus, we don't know how this additives are created. With what substances. Even melamine was an additive for milk.

Better stay clear of them as much as possible.

Great hub as usual Maita, rated up. ;)

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Another great job by a great writer! Thanks Maita!

Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Wow, this is a great hub with a lot of information on food additives. I like it when you say, that you have fun foods like chips once a week. I think that is the key to having a healthy diet is to have fun foods in moderation. Thanks for sharing your insight on this subject. Great Job! :)

blpelton profile image

blpelton 6 years ago

great info !!!!!!

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi bl, thank you dear, maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Money, thnak you so much, I appreciate your comments always! I like your new avatar! sexy, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

thank you Mick, Night, maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi hypno, I learned somuch from your hub este response, you are truly an intelligent man, now I am careful, more careful, thank you so much, Maita

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Interesting hub. When I think of food addatives, I think of those chemicals with unpronounceable names. Salt, of course, is natural. But too much salt can be real bad for you. When I think of how much salt they add to junk foods and fast foods, it almost makes me cringe. The salt content of snack foods, etc. is so high, I can't eat the stuff.

rprcarz50 profile image

rprcarz50 6 years ago

Thank you for your research ! great job.


As Always Also a2z50

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Dolores, you're right, salt is good a sminerlas but it should be moderately taken, I dont eat jiunk foods either, full of salt, Thank you and good night, Maita

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Ron, thank you, Maita

GeneralHowitzer profile image

GeneralHowitzer 6 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

Here's my moral support Maita go, go, go wakikik

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Thanks Gh, Maita

Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 6 years ago from Michigan

Sorry I have been slacking again, (busy, well some excuse) anyway Ive missed reading your excellent articles, I will catch up soon. This was very informative. Does MSG really add that much flavor? I will have to give it a try in moderation of course. Thanks have a great day tomorrow.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Hi Truth, yes it is so good, MSG hehe, in moderation yes, it is safe, HMM< I miss you reading my hubs though, it is good to see you around, HOORAY!

MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

I'm learning that anything that is hard to pronounce most likely is not gonna be good for you. Like Hydrogenated, Butyrate hydroxyanisole and butylated hydrozyttoluene....and so many more absolutely strange words that sound like some ancient plague. great hub~~~~


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Thats a nice conclusion MFB hehe, I will remember that, Thank you, Happy Sunday, Maita

MR.POINT OF VIEW profile image

MR.POINT OF VIEW 6 years ago from Planet Earth

Great stuff I enjoyed reading this one the most.

SherryDigital profile image

SherryDigital 5 years ago from Here. There. Everywhere. Currently: Portland, OR

Great hub! I try to hardest to stay away from additives but they are always sneaking into something. What really bugs me is going to a fancy restaurant, paying top dollar and knowing that your food most likely is covered wit pesticides and full of additives.

seanorjohn profile image

seanorjohn 3 years ago

I never used to worry about additives but as I get older I tend to look more closely at the ingredients. I was surprised to find out some spices have unnnecessary colouring added to them. Voted up and useful.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 2 years ago from Southern California, USA

It is true we cannot find a perfect eden with the modern food supply, but I think eating more whole foods is the answer to at least eating healthier. It is kind of scary to me, but growing up a lot of kids thought mash potatoes were something that came out of a box. Make potatoes from scratch and these taste so much better. People complain that making food from scratch takes along time, but I think cooking can be an enjoyable activity. Also, you can make salads and eat fruits and veggies, which take very little preparation at all.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 2 years ago from US Author

Yup, I agree with you, "make your own" is about right.

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 23 months ago from Home Sweet Home

agree with your hub, lots of processed food and manufactured food are additive

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 23 months ago from US Author

Yup, so true peachpurple.

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