Food additives are chemicals that keep foods fresh or enhance their color, flavor or texture. A small percentage of people are sensitive to some food additives. Diagnosing sensitivity to food additives needs professional help, since all of the symptoms of sensitivity can also be caused by other disorders. Food additives are chemicals added to foods to keep them fresh or to enhance their color, flavor or texture. They may include food colorings such as tartrazine or cochineal, flavor enhancers such as MSG or a range of preservatives. Most food additives are listed on the product label, along with other ingredients, in a descending order by weight flavors are an exception and do not need to be identified. Sometimes, the additive is spelt out in full. At other times, it is represented by a code number cochineal may be listed as Coloring120; sodium sulphite may be shown as preservative.

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