Food Additives and Food Colorings


No calorie artificial sweetener aspartame, which is sold under the brand name NutraSweet in the United States and is used in more than 6,000 products. Aspartame may change levels of chemicals in the brain that affect behavior. May also cause Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.


A white, crystalline organic compound belonging to the family of carboxylic acids, widely used as a food preservative and in the manufacture of various cosmetics, dyes, plastics, and insect repellents. It can cause temporary distress through gastrointestinal


Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as a flavor enhancer in a variety of foods prepared at home, in restaurants, and by food processors. Its use has become controversial in the past 30 years because of reports of adverse reactions in people who’ve eaten foods that
contain MSG. Research on the role of glutamate–a group of chemicals that includes MSG–in the nervous system also has raised questions about the chemical’s safety.

POLYSORBATE 80 – (Commercially also known as Tween® 80)

Is a nonionic detergent and emulsifier derived from polyoxylated sorbitol and oleic acid, and is often used in foods. Polysorbate 80 is often used in ice cream to prevent milk proteins from completely coating the fat droplets. This allows them to join together in chains and nets, to hold air in the mixture, and provide a firmer texture, holding its shape as the ice cream melts. Polysorbate 80 is also used in commercial pickle products.


Used as a fertilizer, in model rocket propellant, and in several fireworks such as smoke bombs, in which a mixture with sugar produces a smoke cloud of 600 times their own  volume. In the process of food preservation, potassium nitrate is a common ingredient of
salted meat. Potassium Nitrate is also the main component (usually about 98%) of tree stump remover; it accelerates the natural decomposition of the stump.  It has also been used in the manufacture of ice cream and can be found in some toothpaste for sensitive teeth.


Used as a food additive, also is used as a preservative in a manner similar to that of sodium nitrite. Potassium nitrite is a strong oxidizer and contact with skin or clothing, as well as inhalation and ingestion, should be avoided. Potassium nitrite is also used in the  manufacturing of heat transfer salts.


Saccharin is typically used as a sweetener in low calorie soft drinks, dietetic ice cream, and other low calorie foods. Saccharin is best known in the pink packet form of Sweet ‘N Low.


Its mineral salts, such as sodium sorbate, potassium sorbate and calcium sorbate, are antimicrobial agents often used as preservatives in food and drinks to prevent the growth of mold, yeast and fungi.


Used as a food additive, mainly as a preservative and is sometimes identified as E223. As an additive, it may cause allergic reactions, particularly skin irritation, gastric irritation and asthma. It is not recommended for consumption by children. It is commonly used in homebrewing preparations to sanitize equipment. It is also used to remove chloramine from drinking water after treatment.


Used as a preservative to prevent dried fruit from discoloring, and for preserving meats. Also used for reducing chlorine levels in pools. It can cause a decrease in vitamin B1 or
destruction of thiamine in the body and can cause asthmatic reactions.


A reddish-brown dye which is used in foods, drugs, and cosmetics (FD & C Orange #8). It is restricted to casings and surfaces of frankfurters and sausages.

BLUE #1 (Patent Blue)

This blue dye is a derivative of coal-tar and it is used in bottled soft drinks, ice cream, ices,
dry drink powders, candy, baked products, cereals, and puddings. It is also found in face powders, other cosmetics, and hair colorings. This dye has been a suspect of many allergic reactions.

BLUE #2 (Indigo Carmine)

This is a dark-blue powder which is a derivative of coal-tar. This dye is used in such
food products as bottled soft drinks, bakery goods, cereals, candy, confections, and dry drink powders. It is also employed in mint-flavored jelly and frozen desserts. It is recognized as a sensitizer in allergic patients.


Used as a food dye in decorations, coatings, desserts, sweets, ice cream, mustard, red fruit jams, soft drinks, flavored milk drinks, fish paste, and other foods. It appears to cause allergic or intolerance reactions, particularly amongst those with aspirin intolerance.
It is a histamine liberator, and may worsen the symptoms of asthma.

GREEN #3 (Fast Green)

This dye is used in foods, drug, and cosmetics except in products which are used in the area around the eye. It is used in coloring in mint-flavored jelly, frozen desserts, gelatin desserts, candy, confections, baked goods, and cereals. Green #3 has been a suspect as a sensitizer in allergic patients.

RED #1 (Crystal Ponceau)

This dye is used in dyeing wool. It may be used in foods, drugs, and cosmetics; as a special note, it has been de-listed by the FDA from further production in foods, drugs or cosmetics.

RED #3 (Erythrosine B)

It is used as a food dye, in printing inks, as a biological stain, a dental plaque disclosing agent and a radiopaque medium. It can cause photosensitivity (sensitivity to light) and it may be carcinogenic. It, and some other synthetic food colorings have been implicated in ADHD, but the evidence on this point is still inconclusive.

RED #40 (Allura red)

In the United States, Allura Red AC is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in cosmetics, drugs, and food. It is used in some tattoo inks and is used in many products, such as orange soda.

YELLOW #5 (Tartrazine)

The most widely used color additives in foods (candy, desserts, cereals, soft drinks and dairy products), drugs and cosmetics. Tartrazine appears to cause the most allergic and intolerance reactions of all the azo dyes, particularly amongst those with an aspirin intolerance and asthmatics. Reactions can include anxiety, migraine, clinical depression,
blurred vision, itching, rhinitis, urticaria, general weakness, palpitations,
and sleep disturbance.

YELLOW #6 (Sunset Yellow)

It may be found in orange squash, orange jelly, marzipan, Swiss roll, apricot jam, citrus marmalade, lemon curd, sweets, hot chocolate mix and packet soups, trifle mix, breadcrumbs and cheese sauce mix and soft drinks. It appears to cause allergic or intolerance reactions, particularly amongst those with aspirin intolerance.  Other reactions can include gastric upset, diarrhea, vomiting, a rash similar to nettle rash and
skin swelling.



Often found in carpets, textiles and on horizontal surfaces in building interiors. Often found on window frames. Outdoors it may be isolated from samples of soil, seeds and plants. It is commonly found in outdoor samples.


Comes in many varieties (species). Many of the varieties produce toxic substances. It may be associated with symptoms such as sinusitis, allergic bronchiopulmonary aspergillosis, and other allergic symptoms. Inhalation of conidia and mycelium of Aspergillus can lead to several diseases, the severity of which depends on the host’s immune response. It is found in soils, leaf, and plant litter, decaying vegetable and roots, bird droppings,
tobacco, and stored sweet potatoes.


This world wide mold predominantly occurs in humid and sub-tropical regions. It is
seen as the gray mold on cabbage, red clover, lettuce, sugar beet, beans, barley, wheat, onion, and tomato. It is especially seen in connection with soft fruits like strawberries and grapes. In the wine industry, the growth of botrytis on wine grapes has been known to give an added effect to the bouquet of certain wines.


Is a yeast infestation, from a parasite that thrives in warm-blooded animals. In the allopathic world of medicine it is referred as a fungus. This fungus can cause thrush and vaginal infections and spread to any part of the body that is weakened. We all have intestinal Candida and when in balance it helps maintain and aid our immune system by controlling the unfriendly organisms. However, Candida Albicans takes advantage of
circumstances in the body. This single cell fungi multiplies and develops toxins which circulate in the blood stream which cause an array of maladies.


Is a mold found in decomposing vegetation, and it is a soil inhabitant. It is also found in dust from textile plants, soil when gardening, bathrooms, and damp old houses. A gray/green color, it is also occasionally found in patients sensitive to Candida Albicans.


This is a mold which is found most commonly on dying and dead plant substrates, especially on leaves and stems of ferns, mosses, and desert and aquatic plants. It is found in various soil types and on food items such as cereals, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peaches. It has also been found in fuel tanks, face creams, paints, and textiles.


This mold is dark brown in color with a velvety appearance. It is allergenic and can be found in interior building materials, soil, castor beans, cotton, rice, barley, wheat, and corn. It is seems to strive well in most tropical countries. It may cause hay fever, asthma, fungal sinusitis.


Epicoccum pupurascens (synonym Epicoccum nigrum) is a saprophyte of worldwide distribution. It is a very common invader of many different plant types, also infecting seeds from barley, oats, wheat, and corn. Moldy paper discoloration is frequently caused by Epicoccum.


Is a large genus of filamentous fungi widely distributed in soil and in
association with plants. Most species are harmless saprobes and are relatively
abundant members of the soil microbial community. Some species produce toxins
in cereal crops that can affect human and animal health if it enters the food


This mold occurs seasonally and spores are released on dry, hot days. It is a parasite of cereals and grasses. Frequently found on grains, grasses, sugar cane, soil, and textiles.

HORMODENDRUM (Cladosporium)

Most commonly identified outdoor fungus. The outdoor numbers are reduced in the winter. The numbers are often high in the summer. Often found indoors in numbers less than outdoor numbers. It is a common allergen. Indoor Cladosporium may be different than the species identified outdoors. It is commonly found on the surface of fiberglass duct
liners in the interior of supply ducts. A wide variety of plants are food sources for this fungus. It is found on dead plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil, paint, and textiles.


This mold has worldwide distribution and is primarily a soil fungus but has been found in horse manure, plant remains, grains, vegetables, and nuts. In the tropics it is found at higher altitudes and often seen on soft fruit, fruit juice and marmalade.


It has a fruity odor, suggesting apples or pineapples. It is found in the soil of citrus plantations and has been isolated from decaying cabbage and barley plants, stored seeds of cereals, grapes, nuts, dried fruits, and fruit juices. It is one of the most dominant and important house molds; the indoor mold can be readily seen on stale bread, citrus fruits, and apples. It is frequently found in wine cellars. It is the source of several antibiotics
significantly penicillin.


This mold is commonly found in different soils, dead plant tissues, and potatoes. It grows indoors in association with bio-deterioration of wall paints, and produces pink or purple colored spots. This mold has also been isolated from moldy shower curtains.


This yeast-like fungus is commonly found on caulk or damp window frames in bathrooms. Aureobasidium (Pullularia) may be pink or black in color. Although it seldom causes infections, it can be allergenic. This is one type of mold that is a type of mildew. It will grow in cooler climates and along with Cladosporium is commonly found growing on siding.


Frequently found in house dust, soil, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Rhizopus often grows in fruit and vegetable garbage, or in forgotten leftover food. Exposure to large numbers of rhizopus spores has reportedly caused respiratory complications. Rhizopus can be an allergen and opportunistic pathogen for immune-compromised individuals, especially those with diabetic ketoacidosis, malnutrition, severe burns, or in some cases, the common cold.


Reddish yeast typically found in moist environments such as carpeting, cooling coils, and drain pans. In some countries it is the most common yeast genus identified in indoor air. This yeast has been reported to be allergenic. Positive skin tests have been reported. It has colonized terminally ill patients.


This is a mold which is found in moist and damp environment.  They are found on plants and around window sills and air conditioning ducts. They are indoors and outdoors.


A yeast commonly isolated from environmental sources, such as air, tree leaves, and orange peels. The natural habitats are humans, mammals, birds, the environment, and plants. Sporobolomyces may cause infections, particularly in immuno-supressed patients.


This is a mixture of three molds; Trichophyton (Rubrum & Interdigitale), Odeomyces (Monilia Albicans), and Epidermophyton (Inguinale). These molds are found on skin surfaces.


Is commonly found in soil, dead trees, pine needles, paper, and unglazed ceramics. It often will grow on other fungi. It produces antibiotics that are toxic to humans. It has been reported to be allergenic. It readily degrades cellulose.

Environmental Chemicals


Uses include a feed supplement for cattle, in hair shampoo, in textile printing, in
the glue that bonds plywood, as an ingredient in nutritive media for yeast, in cleaning products, and as cough medicine. It is the active ingredient in many antiperspirants, usually used in aerosol antiperspirants.


Is a colorless and flammable liquid with a sweet smell and a relatively high melting point. It is carcinogenic and its use as additive in gasoline is now limited, but it is an important
industrial solvent and precursor in the production of drugs, plastics, synthetic rubber, and dyes. May cause drunken behavior, light headaches, disorientation, fatigue, and loss of appetite.


Drinking water, bleach, and disinfectants contain chlorine. It induces pain and inflammation of mouth, throat, and stomach. It can also cause confusion, delirium, respiratory tract irritation, pulmonary edema, skin eruptions, and vomiting. Exposure to chlorine has been linked to an increase in blood pressure, diabetes, anemia’s, heart
disease, gastrointestinal and urinary tract cancer, and asthma.


Used in anti-freeze, in heating and cooling systems, and in paint and plastic solvents.
It is also found in ink pads, ink for ball point pens, and is used as a softening agent for cellophane, stabilizer for soybean foam, and to extinguish oil and gasoline fires. It is also used in the synthesis of elastomers, plasticizers, and synthetic fibers and waxes.


Is commonly found in toothpaste and water. Clinical studies have shown that fluoride contributes to osteoporosis and long-term exposure produces osteosclerosis.


Is found in household detergents and cleaners, and is also used in photographic chemicals, paint and rubber production, textile finishes and conditioners, pesticides and vermicides, diesel exhaust, toilet, burning charcoal and cigarette smoke. It may produce such symptoms as irritability, disorientation and depression.


An alloy ingredient in precious metals. Found in costume jewelry, eyeglass frames, silver and white gold jewelry, hairpins, braces, chairs, knives, forks, coins, and medical instruments. It may also be included in bleaching agents, dyes for hair, mineral oil products, and chemical fertilizers.


Once important in western herbal medicine, it is now used mainly as a fixative and base note in perfumery, as well as an ingredient in many brands of gin. This is also the substance left out of products that are labeled hypo-allergenic.


Phenol is used primarily in the production of phenolic resins and in the manufacture of nylon and other synthetic fibers. It is also used in slimicides (chemicals that kill bacteria and fungi in slimes), as a disinfectant and antiseptic, and in medicinal preparations such as mouthwash and sore throat lozenges. Short-term exposure to phenol in the air can cause respiratory irritation, headaches, and burning eyes. People who had skin exposure to high amounts of phenol had skin burns, liver damage, dark urine and irregular heart


Toluene is a common solvent, able to dissolve: paints, paint thinners, many chemical reactants, rubber, printing ink, adhesives (glues), lacquers, leather tanners, and disinfectants. Inhalation of toluene fumes can be intoxicating, but in larger doses nausea-inducing.

Description of Pharmacoactive Agents


Occurs naturally in ripe fruit, coffee, and fresh bread and is produced by plants as part of their normal metabolism. It is probably best known as the chemical that causes “hangovers”. In the chemical industry, acetaldehyde is used as an intermediate in the production of acetic acid, certain esters, and a number of other chemicals.


are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by many species of Aspergillus, a fungus, most notably Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aflatoxins are toxic and carcinogenic. High-level aflatoxin exposure produces an acute necrosis, cirrhosis, and carcinoma of the liver exhibited by hemorrhage, acute liver damage and edema, alteration in digestion, and absorption and/or metabolism of nutrients.


is a naturally occurring phenolic compound, (formerly called a carbolic acid), which is found in many fruits, vegetables, and herbs, including coffee, although varying in amounts depending on the plant. Caffeic acid has been shown to act as a carcinogenic inhibitor.


An ester of caffeic acid and quinic acid is a major phenolic compound in coffee, isolated from the leaves and fruits of dicotyledonous plants. This compound, long known as an antioxidant, also slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal.


Is a chemical compound found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean, woodruff, and bison grass. It has a sweet scent, readily recognized as the scent of newly-mown hay. It has clinical value as the precursor for several anticoagulants, notably warfarin.


Is a chemical naturally produced by the human body. In the brain, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter, activating the five types of dopamine receptor – D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5, and their variants. Dopamine is produced in several areas of the brain, including the substantia nigra. Dopamine has many functions in the brain.


Is a naturally occurring amino acid, a precursor of other chemicals such as dopamine, and melanin. Patients with phenylketonuria are usually treated by low phenylalanine diet. This chemical which is ubiquitous, found in barley, cocoa, codfish, egg, gelatin, grape, hops, potato and yeast mix.


Has been used as an intestinal astringent. It is used to manufacture inks, to develop photographs, and in tanning and dyeing. The esters are used as an antioxidant. It is found in fruits, beans, milk, egg, hops, olive, potato, and yeast mix.


This is a potent vasodilator found in normal tissues and blood. It stimulates the secretion of pepsin in the stomach. Eating stimulates the release of histamine from gastric mucosa. It has been used as a diagnostic aid (gastric secretion, pheochromocytoma) and for hypo-sensitization therapy. Naturally occurring in beer, black bass, catfish, chicken, cocoa, codfish, flounder, halibut, cow’s milk, lobster, oyster, salmon, trout, tuna, turkey,
and yeast mix.


is a naturally occurring chemical of the Anthocyanidin family in a variety of common foods like Tomato, Potato, Green Pea, Olive, Onion, Eggplant, Carrot, Walnut, Cashew, Watermelon, Strawberry, Peach, Pear, Crabmeat, Cow’s milk, cheese and many others. Malvin is not dangerous to ingest unless one develops an allergy toward it. An allergy to malvin may result in constipation, severe gas, vomiting or diarrhea when foods containing it are ingested in large amounts.


Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae), predominantly in tobacco, and in lower quantities in tomato, potato, eggplant and green pepper. Nicotine has also been used insecticides and fumigants. Symptoms of nicotine toxicity include extreme nausea, vomiting, convulsions, mental confusion, and twitching. It produces vasoconstriction and slight central nervous system depression.


This pharmacoactive agent is found in ham, lobster, cow’s milk, mutton, and pork.


is an aromatic aldehyde that comes as a white powder and has a floral odor. It
is used as flavoring and in perfume. It can be obtained by oxidation of piperonyl alcohol. It is also a minor natural component of the extract of vanilla. It can be found in cinnamon, clove, cucumber, honey, cow’s milk, mustard, peach, pineapple, walnut, and yeast mix.


This chemical is a nitrogen analog of benzene. It can be derived from tobacco
and various other organic matters. It is a weak basic liquid which is often used in histology as a solvent and to extract lipids from tissue.


Is an alkaloid and monoamine. In the human brain, it is believed to function as a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter. It is found in many foods such as chocolate, especially after microbial fermentation. It has been suggested that phenethylamine from food may have psychoactive effects in sufficient quantities.


The flavonoid rutin is a flavonol glycoside comprised of the flavonol and the disaccharide rutinose. Rutin is found in many plants, especially the buckwheat plant Fagopyrum esculentum Moench, the flour of which is used to make pancakes. Other rich dietary sources of rutin include black tea and apple peels. Rutin may be useful in the management of venous edema. It may help strengthen capillaries, protect against some toxins and have anti-inflammatory effects, as well as some anti-cancer effects. It may also help prevent the oxidation of vitamin C and have some positive lipid effects.


In the central nervous system, serotonin is believed to play an important role in the regulation of anger, aggression, body temperature, mood, sleep, vomiting, sexuality, and appetite. Low levels of serotonin have been associated with several disorders, namely increase in aggressive and angry behaviors, clinical depression, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, tinnitus, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders.


Is a glycoalkaloid poison found in species of the nightshade family. It can occur naturally in any part of the plant, including the leaves, fruit, and tubers. It is very toxic even in small quantities. Solanine has both fungicidal and pesticidal properties, and it is one of the plant’s natural defenses. Solanine poisoning is primarily displayed by gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, burning of the throat,  heart arrhythmia, headache and dizziness. Hallucinations, loss
of sensation, and paralysis, fever, jaundice, dilated pupils and hypothermia
have been reported in more severe cases.


Is an amino acid which is essential in human nutrition. It is one of the 20
amino acids encoded by the genetic code. Tryptophan, found as a component of
dietary protein, is particularly plentiful in oats, bananas, dried dates, milk,
yogurt, cottage cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry, sesame, chickpeas,
sunflower seeds, and peanuts.


Occurs widely in plants and animals and is metabolized by the enzyme monoamine oxidase. In foods, it is often produced by the decarboxylation of tyrosine during fermentation or decay. Foods containing considerable amounts of tyramine include fish, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, and fermented foods such as cheese, soy sauce and soy bean condiments, sauerkraut, and processed meat. Tyramine plays a significant part
in causing hangovers and their headaches. It occurs in particularly high levels
in red wine.

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