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E100 Curcumin


An orange yellow colour derived from the root of the curcuma (turmeric) plant. Apart from its culinary uses, turmeric is used as a preservative, colorant and flavouring agent in many food products including baked foods, pickles and meat products.

The yellow-flowered turmeric plant is a member of the ginger family. It is grown in Indonesia, China, India and other parts of the tropics, where the dried aromatic root-like stem is ground to form a powder. It contains yellow-coloured curcumin, the key active component, and also an orange-coloured volatile oil. The herb has been shown to have a positive effect on a variety of medical conditions.

Turmeric is an essential flavouring spice of Indian and other cuisine. The Turmeric rhizome provides the typical yellow colour of many curry dishes and helps to make the food more digestible.

Turmeric can be artificially produced and has found application in canned beverages, baked products, fish fingers, dairy products, ice cream, yoghurts, yellow cakes, biscuits, popcorn-colour, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces, gelatines, direct compression tablets, etc. In combination with Annatto (E160b) it has been used to colour cheeses, dry mixes, salad dressings, winter butter and margarine.

It is also used in product systems that are packaged to protect them from sunlight. The oleoresin is used for oil-containing products. The curcumin / polysorbate solution or curcumin powder dissolved in alcohol is used for water containing products. Over-colouring, such as in pickles, relishes and mustard, is sometimes used to compensate for fading.

Investigations into the low incidence of colo-rectal cancer amongst ethnic groups with a large intake of curries compared with the indigenous population have discovered that some active ingredients of Turmeric appear to have anti-cancer properties. Second stage trials of a Turmeric-based drug to treat cancer are currently underway.
Possible side effects

Turmeric appears to be very safe in recommended doses. However, there is some evidence to suggest that – because turmeric enhances the release of bile in the liver, high doses should not be taken by people with gallstones, obstructive jaundice, acute bilious colic or toxic liver disorders.

E101 (i) Riboflavin (ii) Riboflavin-5'-phosphate

Riboflavin is yellow or orange-yellow in colour and in addition to being used as a food colouring it is also used to fortify some foods.

It can be found in such foods as baby foods, breakfast cereals, sauces, processed cheese, fruit drinks and vitamin-enriched milk products as well as being widely used in vitamin supplements.

Also known as vitamin B2 occurs naturally in milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables, liver and yeast but exposure to light will destroy the Riboflavin in these natural sources. In processed foods it is very likely to be Genetically Modified as it can be produced synthetically using genetically modified Bacillus subtilis, altered to both increase the bacteria production of riboflavin and to introduce an antibiotic (ampicillin) resistance marker.

It is an easily absorbed, water-soluble micronutrient with a key role in maintaining human health. Like the other B vitamins, it supports energy production by aiding in the metabolising of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Vitamin B2 is also required for red blood cell formation and respiration, antibody production, and for regulating human growth and reproduction. It is essential for healthy skin, nails, hair growth and general good health, including regulating thyroid activity. Any excess is excreted in the urine but as the human body does not store Riboflavin it is thought deficiency is common.

Riboflavin also helps in the prevention or treatment of many types of eye disorders, including some cases of cataracts. It may assist bloodshot, itching or burning eyes and abnormal sensitivity to light.

It is difficult to incorporate Riboflavin into many liquid products as it has poor solubility. Hence the requirement for E101a Riboflavin-5'-phosphate, a more expensive but more soluble form of Riboflavin.

E101a Riboflavin-5'-Phosphate

Consists mainly of the monosodium salt of the 5'-monophosphate ester of riboflavin dihydrate obtained from chemical action on E101 Riboflavin. It is rapidly turned to free riboflavin after ingestion.

Found in many foods for babies and young children as well as jams, milk products and sweets and sugar products.

Likely to be Genetically Modified.

E102 Tartrazine

A synthetic yellow azo dye found in fruit squash, fruit cordial, coloured fizzy drinks, instant puddings, cake mixes, custard powder, soups, sauces, ice cream, ice lollies, sweets, chewing gum, marzipan, jam, jelly, marmalade, mustard, yoghurt and many convenience foods together with glycerine, lemon and honey products. It can also be found in the shells of medicinal capsules. It can also be used with Brilliant Blue FCF, (E133) to produce various green shades e.g. for tinned processed peas.

Tartrazine appears to cause the most allergic and/or intolerance reactions of all the azo dyes, particularly amongst those with an aspirin intolerance and asthmatics. Other reactions can include migraine, blurred vision, itching, rhinitis and purple skin patches, (because of this more use is now being made of Annatto (E160b). In conjunction with Benzoic acid (E210) tartrazine appears to create an over-activity in children.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

The Hyperactive Childrens Support Group belive that a link exists between this additive and hyperactive behavioural disorders in children.

Whilst being a very commonly used colour in the UK its use is banned in Norway and Austria.

E104 Quinoline yellow

The disodium salt of disulphonic acid.

A synthetic 'coal tar' dye varying in colour between a dull yellow and greenish-yellow. Found in ices, scotch eggs and smoked haddock.

FD&C Yellow No.10; used in lipsticks hair products, colognes; also in a wide range of medications; may cause dermatitis.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Whilst being a commonly used colour in the UK its use is banned in Australia, Japan, Norway and the United States.

E110 Sunset Yellow FCF; Orange Yellow S

A synthetic 'coal tar' and azo yellow dye used in fermented foods which must be heat treated. Found in orange squash, orange jelly, marzipan, Swiss roll, apricot jam, citrus marmalade, lemon curd, sweets, hot chocolate mix and packet soups, breadcrumbs, cheese sauce, ice cream, canned fish, and many medications.

Side effects are urticaria (hives), rhinitis (runny nose), nasal congestion, allergies, hyperactivity, kidney tumors, chromosomal damage, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, distaste for food; increased incidence of tumors in animals.

It appears to cause allergic and/or intolerance reactions, particularly amongst those with an aspirin intolerance.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

The Hyperactive Childrens Support Group belive that a link exists between this additive and hyperactive behavioural disorders in children.

Whilst being a commonly used colour in the UK its use is banned in Norway and Finland.

E120 Cochineal; Carminic acid; Carmines

An expensive red colouring, not suitable for vegetarians as it is extracted from the crushed carcasses of the female Dactylopius coccus, a cactus-feeding scale insect, which are killed by either immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven. The variety in the appearance of commercial cochineal is caused by these differing extraction methods.

The water soluble form is used in alcoholic drinks with calcium carmine, the insoluble form, being used in a wider variety of products. Together with ammonium carmine they can be found in alcoholic drinks, bakery products and toppings, biscuits, desserts, drinks, icings, pie fillings, some varieties of cheddar cheese, sauces and sweets.

May cause allergic reactions

Not recommended for consumption by children.

E122 Azorubine; Carmoisine

A synthetic red azo dye used in foods which must be heat treated after fermentation. Also found in blancmange, marzipan, Swiss roll, jams and preserves, sweets, brown sauce, flavoured yogurts, packet soups, jellies, breadcrumbs and cheesecake mixes.

It appears to cause allergic and/or intolerance reactions, particularly amongst those with an aspirin intolerance. Other reactions can include a rash similar to nettle rash and water retention.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

The Hyperactive Childrens Support Group belive that a link exists between this additive and hyperactive behavioural disorders in children.

Whilst being a commonly used colour in the UK, its use is banned in Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

E123 Amaranth

Derived from the small herbaceous plant of the same name. A purplish-red (blackcurrant) synthetic coal tar or azo dye found in ice creams, gravy granules, jams, jelly, tinned fruit pie fillings and prawns and packeted cake mixes, soups and trifles.

It appears to cause allergic and/or intolerance reactions, similar to nettle rash, particularly amongst those with an aspirin intolerance or asthmatics. can provoke asthma, eczema and hyperactivity; it caused birth defects and foetal deaths in some animal tests, possibly also cancer

.Not recommended for consumption by children
.
It is banned in Norway, United States, Russia and Austria (see E129) with a very restricted use in France and Italy (caviar only).

E124 Ponceau 4R; Cochineal Red A

A red synthetic coal tar or azo dye found in dessert toppings, jelly, salami, seafood dressings, tinned strawberries and fruit pie fillings and packeted cake mixes, cheesecakes, soups and trifles.

It appears to cause allergic and/or intolerance reactions particularly amongst those with an aspirin intolerance or asthmatics. Carcinogen in animals.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

The Hyperactive Childrens Support Group belive that a link exists between this additive and hyperactive behavioural disorders in children.

It is banned in Norway and the United States.

E127 Erythrosine

A cherry-pink/red synthetic coal tar dye found in cocktail, glacé and tinned cherries, canned fruit, custard mix, sweets, bakery, snack foods, biscuits, chocolate, dressed crab, garlic sausage, luncheon meat, salmon spread, paté, scotch eggs, stuffed olives and packet trifle mix. It is also used to reveal plaque in dental disclosing tablets.

Because food processing at temperatures above 200°c partly degrades Erythrosine, releasing iodide, there are fears that it could affect thyroid activity, can increase thyroid hormone levels and lead to hyperthyroidism, was shown to cause thyroid cancer in rats in a study in 1990. It is toxic to some strains of yeast cells and is also implicated in phototoxicity (a sensitivity to light).

Not recommended for consumption by children.

The Hyperactive Childrens Support Group belive that a link exists between this additive and hyperactive behavioural disorders in children.

It is banned in Norway and the United States.

E128 Red 2G

A red synthetic coal tar or azo dye found mainly in cooked meat products and sausages but can also be found in jams and drinks.

Concerns that it can interfere with blood haemoglobin.
Not recommended for consumption by children.

Britain is the only European Union country to use Red 2G and it is also banned in Australia, Austria, Canada, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

E129 Allura Red AC

Orange-red colour used in sweets, drinks and condiments, medications and cosmetics, A red synthetic azo dye introduced in the early eighties to replace Amaranth, E123, in the United States of America where E123 is prohibited.

May have slightly less allergy/intolerance reaction by aspirin intolerant people and asthmatics than most of the azo dyes, although those with skin sensitivities should be careful. Allura red has also been connected with cancer in mice.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Norway.

E131 Patent Blue V

A dark bluish-violet synthetic coal tar dye.

Not widely used but can be found in Scotch eggs and is used diagnostically to colour lymph vessels.

Best avoided by people with allergy reactions as it can cause skin sensitivity, a rash similar to nettle rash, itching, nausea, low blood pressure, tremors and breathing problems.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Banned in Australia, USA and Norway.

E132 lndigotine; Indigo Carmine

Commonly added to tablets and capsules; also used in ice cream, sweets, baked goods, confectionery, biscuits. It is also used diagnostically to check for coloured urine in kidney function tests.

A blue synthetic coal tar dye, normally produced by a synthesis of indoxyl by fusion of sodium phenylglycinate in a mixture of caustic soda and sodamide
.
This process was introduced following the discovery of the chemical structure of indigo by the Prussian research chemist J F W Adolf von Baeyer in 1883 and was in regular use by 1890. Very little natural indigo from either Isatis tinctoria or Indigofera has been produced commercially since the turn of the century.

Best avoided by people with allergy reactions as it may cause skin sensitivity, a skin rash similar to nettle rash, itching, high blood pressure and breathing problems.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Banned in Norway.

E133 Brilliant Blue FCF

A blue synthetic coal tar dye often used in conjunction with E102, Tartrazine, to produce various shades of green. Synthetic usually occurring as aluminum lake (solution) or ammonium salt;

Can be found in tinned processed peas, dairy products, sweets and drinks,

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Banned in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

E140 Chlorophylls and chlorophyllins

Green colour occurs naturally in the cells of all plants and responsible for photosynthesis. A fairly unstable dye, which tends to fade easily (see E141). Not easy to obtain in a pure form and commercially available chloroyphyll usually contains other plant material impurities.

The usual sources are nettles, spinach and grass with the chloroyphyll being extracted using acetone, ethanol, light petroleum, methylethylketone and diachloromethane. Lutein,

E161b, may be extracted at the same time.

Can be used for dyeing waxes and oils, used in medicines and cosmetics eg in chewing gum, fats and oils, ice cream, soaps, soups, sweets and, obviously, green vegetables.

Has no maximum recommended daily intake and is not subject to any prohibitions.

E141 Copper complexes of chlorophyll and chlorophyllins

These colours are (i) an olive green oil soluble colour and (ii) water soluble green colour.

They are derived from Chlorophyll, E140, by substitution of copper for the magnesium, which increases their stability.

Can be found in some types of cheese, chewing gum, ice cream, Parsley sauce, soups and green vegetables and fruits preserved in liquids.

No adverse effects are known.

E142 Green S

A green synthetic coal tar dye found in desserts, gravy granules, ice cream, mint sauce, sweets, packet breadcrumbs, cake mixes and tinned peas.

Currently research is ongoing into acceptable intake levels, however it is known to cause hyperactivity, asthma, uticaria, and insomnia.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Banned in Canada, Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

E150c Ammonia caramel

E150a Plain Caramel

E150b Caustic sulphite caramel

E150c Ammonia caramel

E150d Sulphite ammonia caramel

These colourings, which range from dark brown to black, are made by controlled heat treatment of sugar beet or sugar cane (with or without the presence of alkalis or acids) but as it is possible to use sugar from maize starch which may come from a Genetically Modified crop. The caramel group of colours are the most widely used group of colours, comprising some 98% of all colours used.

Between them they can be found in beer, brown bread, buns, chocolate, biscuits, brandy, chocolate flavoured flour based confectionery, coatings, decorations, fillings and toppings, crisps, dessert mixes, doughnuts, fish and shellfish spreads, frozen desserts, glucose tablets, gravy browning, ice cream, jams, milk desserts, pancakes, pickles, sauces and dressings, soft drinks particularly cola drinks, stouts, sweets, vinegar, whisky and wines.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

E151 Brilliant Black BN; Black PN

A violet/black synthetic coal tar and azo dye.

Used in decorations and coatings, desserts, fish paste, flavoured milk drinks, ice cream, mustard, red fruit jams, sauces, savoury snacks, soft drinks, soups and sweets.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Banned in Denmark, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, USA and Norway .

E153 Vegetable carbon

Whilst this black colouring can be obtained from various sources including activated charcoal, bones, meat, blood, various fats oils and resins or just the incomplete combustion of natural gas, it is normally derived from burnt vegetable matter. This could include Genetically Modified crops.

Vegetarians should note that it can be of animal origin.

Can be found in concentrated fruit juices, jams, jellies and liquorice.

Banned as a food additive in the United States of America. Suspected as a carcinogenic agent although it is now believed that this may have been due to the presence of impurities.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Only the vegetable derived variety permitted in Australia.

E154 Brown FK

A highly suspect brown mixture of six synthetic azo dyes together with other colourings and sodium chloride and/or sodium sulphate.

Found mainly in kippers and smoked mackerel but also occasionally in cooked hams and crisps.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Banned throughout the EU (except in the UK where its use is still permitted!) Also prohibited in Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

E155 Brown HT

A brown synthetic 'coal tar' and azo dye found mainly in chocolate flavour cakes.

It appears to cause allergic and/or intolerance reactions, particularly amongst those with an aspirin intolerance and asthma sufferers, also known to induce skin sensitivity

Not recommended for consumption by children.

Its use is banned in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

E160a Carotenes

Orange or yellow plant pigments, found mainly in carrots, green leafed vegetables and tomatoes, which the human body converts into 'Vitamin A' in the liver. Fades on exposure to light.

Can be commercially manufactured in the laboratory but beta-carotene, with some alpha-carotene and gamma-carotene present, is normally extracted from carrots and other yellow or orange fruits and vegetables with hexane.

Used in butter and soft margarines, coffee sponge cakes, milk products and soft drinks.
Vegetarians should be aware that some manufacturers use gelatine (see E441) as a stabiliser. With the move away from porcine and bovine gelatine this is likely to be fish gelatine.

E160b Annatto; Bixin; Norbixin

A yellow, peach or red vegetable dye obtained from the seed coat of the fruit of the Annatto tree, Bixa orellana. May be either oil-soluble or water soluble and is stable in processing, baking and brine.

Currently being used in place of the highly allergenic Tartrazine, E102, although the Hyperactive Children's Support Group believe there is a possibility of an allergic reaction to Annatto.

Mechanical abrasion using food grade vegetable oil produces oil-soluble Annatto. Bixin can then extracted by solvents such as acetone, hexane or methanol, with further processing with an aqueous alkali producing Norbixin. Water soluble Annatto, containing both Norbixin and Bixin which can then be extracted, is obtained by agitation with an aqueous alkali.

Used, sometimes in combination with E100, in cheese (Cheshire, Double Gloucester and Red Leicester), coleslaw, crisps, custard, fish fingers, flavoured instant mashed potato, fruit and cream fillings and toppings, frying oil, ice cream and lollies, icings, liqueurs, low calorie spreads, margarine, meat balls, salad cream and mayonnaise, smoked fish, soft drinks, sponge cakes and puddings, steak and kidney pie pastry and yoghurt. Also used as a body paint, digestive aid and expectorant. Also used in soap, fabric dye and varnishes.

E160c Paprika extract; Capsanthian; Capsorubin

An orange to red colour extracted from the fruit pod and seeds of the red pepper, Capsicum annuum.

Normally obtained by solvent extraction from the Hungarian variety with Spain being a major producer.

Used widely in poultry feed to deepen the colour of egg yolks (see also E161b) it can also be found in cheese slices and chicken pies.

Expect to see more use in meat products with the swing away from synthetic colours towards the natural ones.

Not permitted in Australia.

E160d Lycopene

A red colour extracted from tomatoes and pink grapefruit, which does not appear to be in use currently.

Be aware that if it does become widely available it may be produced from Genetically Modified tomatoes.

There has been much made recently of Lycopene being very useful for its' anti-cancer properties but it is not apparent whether the quantities that would be used as an additive would be beneficial - the recommendation being to eat a tomato a day! (GM tomatoes have not yet been approved for general sale as tomatoes - only purées and pastes).

Not permitted in Australia.

E160e Beta-apo-8'-carotenal (C30)

An orange to red colour, normally synthetic when used as a food colour, although it occurs naturally in oranges and tangerines.

Can be found in cheese slices
.
No adverse side effects.

E160f Ethyl ester of beta-apo-8'-carotenoic acid (C30)

An orange-yellow synthetic colour similar to E160e.

No adverse effects are known.

E161b Lutein

The E161 group are Xanthophylls, (from the Greek, Xanthos - yellow). They are yellow pigments, although E161g is more orange, and related to carotene. Extracted using the solvent hexane they normally contain other source plant material.

Lutein is found in egg yolks, fat cells and green leaves.

Can be obtained from the same sources and at the same time as Chlorophyll, E140, and is often used in poultry feed to enhance the colour of egg yolks (see also E160c)

E161g Canthaxanthin

Canthaxanthin is also available in some mushrooms, crustaceans and fish, so vegetarians beware, but it is normally obtained commercially from beta-carotene.

As well as being used in such products as chicken in breadcrumbs, fish fingers, mallow biscuits, pickles and preserves, sauces and sweets it is also fed to farmed salmon and trout to enhance the colour of the flesh. Fed to laying hens to make to colour egg yolks.

It is also used to colour the skin in artificial sun-tan products where its' use has given concern to eyesight problems. In particular a deterioration in twilight vision, delays in adapting to the dark and sensitivity to glare. These products use greater quantities than those used in food, although at present there is no direct correlation, but with the increasing use of Canthaxanthin as a 'natural' substance in food, there is a real cause for concern.

E162 Beetroot Red; Betanin

A deep red/purple natural extract from beetroot, the principle compound of which is beta-d-glucopyranoside of betanidine.

Fairly unstable in many processes and can impart an earthy taste.

Can be found in bacon burgers, desserts, ice cream, jams, jellies, liquorice, oxtail soup, sauces and sweets.

No adverse effects are known but should be avoided by babies and young children as it contains nitrates.

E163 Anthocyanins

Natural water soluble plant pigments, present in the cell sap, which imparts the red or blue colours in flowers, fruits and vegetables.

Commercially available anthocyanins are normally extracted from grape skins or red cabbage using water, methanol or ethanol.

The colour is pH dependant, ranging from an intense red in acid conditions turning bluer as the pH rises. (This makes anthocyanins unsuitable for meat products as they are a purple/blue colour at the pH of meat).

Can be found in black cherry yoghurt, dairy products, glacé cherries, ice cream, jellies, pickles, soft drinks, tomato, carrot or vegetable soups and sweets.

Believed to be safe.

E170 Calcium carbonate

Extensively naturally occurring as chalk, limestone, marble, fieldspar, dolomite, eggshells (consist of 94% calcium carbonate), pearls, coral, stalactites, stalagmites, and the shells of many marine animals.

Can be found in biscuits, bread, cakes, ice cream, sweets, vitamin and other tablets and to firm canned fruit and vegetables, it is sometimes used for to deacidify wine. Also used in toothpastes, white paint and cleaning powders.

Should not be a problem at food additive levels but at higher levels may cause flatulence, constipation, haemorrhoids and bleeding anal fissures. Because of its' solubility, prolonged high levels may result in high quantities in the blood producing confused behaviour, abdominal pain, weak muscles and kidney stones.

E171 Titanium dioxide

White in colour, Titanium dioxide is extracted from the naturally occurring mineral Ilmenite, (named after the Ilmen Mountains in Russia), an iron-black, heavy, metallic oxide mineral, composed of iron and titanium oxide.

Thought not to be easily absorbed, although detectable amounts can be found in the blood, brain and glands with the highest concentrations being in the lymph nodes and lungs, it is excreted from the body with urine.

Can be found in tablets and capsules, cottage and Mozzarella cheeses, horseradish cream and sauces, lemon curd, toothpaste, and white paint, also in sweets where it is often used to provide a barrier between different colours. Used to increase opacity in some sauces.

No adverse effects are known.

Pollutes waterways.

Banned in Germany.

E172 Iron oxides and hydroxides

Naturally occurring pigments of iron, which can be yellow, red, orange, brown or black in colour.

Manufactured by treating a solution of ferrous sulphate or chloride with an alkali and oxidising the precipitate in hot air. As the iron present in these oxides is in the ferric form it is not very actively available to body tissues.

Can be found in cake and dessert mixes, meat paste, salmon and shrimp paste.

Toxic at 'high doses', banned in Germany.

E173 Aluminium

A naturally occurring silvery-white metal smelted from the ore, Bauxite. Because of its chemical form, aluminium never occurs in the metallic form in nature, but its compounds are present to varying degrees in almost all rocks, vegetation, and animals.

Despite being the most abundant metallic element, constituting 8.1 percent of the Earth's crust there is no dietary requirement for aluminium.

As a food additive it is used solely for external decoration where it can be found in the covering of dragées and the decoration of sugar-coated flour confectionery, in cake decorations and to give a silvery finish to pills and tablets.

However, it is also added to the tap water drinking supply in some areas to remove discoloration and is widely available in antacid treatments. It can also be ingested from soft drinks in aluminium cans used past their sell-by dates, when the aluminium content of the drink has been found to exceed the limits laid down by the EC for drinking water, and by the use of aluminium pots and pans and cooking utensils.

There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that an accumulation of aluminium in the cells of the nervous system could be potentially toxic. It is found in abnormally high levels in the brain cells of Alzheimer's disease sufferers, accumulated in the neurofibrillary tangles and neuritic plaques, but it is not yet known whether it has a causative or resultant role in the disease.

Several reports also suggest that a high aluminium intake may have adverse effects on the metabolism of phosphorous and calcium in the human body and may induce or intensify skeletal abnormalities such as osteoporosis.

Increased urinary excretion of magnesium and calcium has been reported following regular antacid use.

Not permitted in Australia.

E174 Silver

A naturally occurring white, lustrous metal, widely distributed in nature, but the total amount is quite small when compared with other metals, constituting only some 0.05 parts per million of the Earth's crust. Practically all sulphides of lead, copper, and zinc contain some silver.

Obtained from crushed silver bearing ore. The actual method of recovery from the ore depends on which metal is predominant in the ore but normally ends by electrolysis using one of two techniques, either the Moebius or Thum Balbach systems. The chief difference being that the electrodes are positioned vertically in the Moebius system and horizontally in the Thum Balbach.

As a food additive it is used solely for external decoration where it can be found on chocolate confectionery, in the covering of dragées and the decoration of sugar-coated flour confectionery.

Long, regular consumption can lead to kidney damage and a blue-grey discoloration of the eyes, nose and nasal septum, throat and skin.

Not permitted in Australia.

E175 Gold

A naturally occurring, dense, lustrous, yellow precious metal widespread in low concentrations in all igneous rocks. Its abundance in the Earth's crust is estimated at about 0.005 parts per million.

Four countries, South Africa, Russia, the United States, and Australia, account for two-thirds of the gold produced annually throughout the world, (South Africa, with its vast Witwatersrand mines, produces about one-third of the world's gold) with Canada and Brazil also having substantial deposits.

There are numerous methods of recovery depending on the type of deposit.

As a food additive it is used solely for external decoration where it can be found on chocolate confectionery, in the covering of dragées and the decoration of sugar-coated flour confectionery.

Chemically, gold is very inactive and therefore virtually harmless, however as there is no dietary requirement it is probably best avoided.

Not permitted in Australia.

E180 Litholrubine BK

A synthetic azo dye, reddish in colour used solely for colouring the rind of hard cheeses.

People who suffer from asthma, rhinitis or the skin disease urticaria may find their symptoms become worse following consumption of azo dyes.

Banned in Australia.