Doc Talk #149 – Food Additives

Additives are ubiquitous in modern processed food. In this show, Dr Dan and Jamieson delved into the world of things that get added to our food!

Food additives exist for a reason, including both natural and synthetic additives. They have important functions in modern food production: flavourings, colouring, preservativers, sweetners, thickeners and emulsifiers among others. Many of these additives help to keep us safe and prevent spoilage and harm from food.

You don’t want a side order of botulism with your bacon in the morning!

They are definitely not all bad but they are not without controversy. Certain types of additives been linked to hypersensitivity and allergic reactions, migraine and even cancer.

We also talk about some myths relating to additives including monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the infamous “Chinese restaurant syndrome” of the 1970s.

Strict regulation of the food industry in Canada means that we don’t need to be overly worried. Despite some of the concerns, on balance, the majority of the food additives used help improve and keep our food safe.