Food Additives

There’s a big push on these days to remove all man-made additives (colourants, flavour-enhancers, preservatives, etc.) from foods that we eat. Generally, I think this is a good idea. For example, I appear to be allergic to the red colourant E160b: often labelled as annatto, it causes me minor stomach irritation but was an absolute pain in the arse (pardon the pun) to track down to that particular one. That’s before we get to all the tartrazine-type ones which cause kids to go hyper. But I think there’s a secret ingredient which is in foods these days that isn’t being removed. It’s the one which resembles edible concrete.

This stuff gets everywhere – take chocolate for example. Can you think of any substance known to man which is a molten hazard to carpets at 20C, a wonderful snack at 10C and like granite at anything below 5C? What do they put in chocolate such that once it becomes ‘a bit chilly’ in the fridge then it can snap teeth in two, or require industrial cutting equipment to snap a bar? Hasn’t everyone struggled at some point with a bar of Cadbury’s straight from the fridge, wondering whether their finger joints will go before the chocolate breaks?

And it doesn’t stop there. This magic ingredient can be found in a different form in cornflakes. All it needs is the activation chemical (milk) and then 5 minutes exposed to the air. What results is a substance that can grip a ceramic bowl with an adhesion that grout manufacturers would be proud of. And how about that coconut stuff in Bounty bars? You can go to the dentist and have fillings which fall out just while you’re eating. You can guarantee that every time you eat a Bounty bar, there’s one bit of coconut with too much special ingredient that will glue itself to your back molar. No amount of prodding with your tongue can shift that bugger. The only solution is really a wire-bristled toothbrush.

I think we should be told the truth.


  • No More Nails—rubbish, try scrambled egg on a plastic bowl. Tile adhesive is easier to shift.

  • Hmmmm… that’s a point. Maybe the problem is more widespread than we first thought. There’s nothing man-made about eggs – perhaps it’s down to these Genetically-Modified chickens.