Short List of Additives

Glutamates (MSG)   Artificial Sweeteners   Colours   Preservatives   Antioxidants   Emulsifiers & Stabilisers   Anti-caking   Web sites references

The human body does not need food additives.
Quite possibly, additives are used to disguise the taste of food you otherwise wouldn't eat. Additives are added to processed food to enhance the taste, appearance or to increase the shelf life. Not all additives are harmful, but many in use today are known to be dangerous and even carcinogenic. Some additives in use in Australia have been banned overseas and many are banned in baby food.

There has been a vast increase in the amount of food additives used in the since the 1970's and some are listed on the following pages. There has also been a vast increase in the number of chronic conditions since the 1970's.

Glutamates: - MSG 621

While doing some studies, I stumbled across research involving "fat rats" and MSG. What transpired was not research into the affects monosodium glutamate (MSG), but how fat rats were obtained for research. MSG was injected or fed to lab animals to make them fat.

There has been a dramatic increase of processed foods since the 1970's; most with MSG. Could this be a reason for the current obesity crisis?

Glutamates belong to a group of amino acids called excitotoxins. Excitotoxins are substances that over-stimulate neurons. Excessive over-stimulation may result in the death of the neuron (brain cell).

MSG or monosodium glutamate occurs naturally in many plants such as tomatoes, spinach and grapes. This form of MSG is bound with proteins and is in low concentration. The artificial manufacture of MSG involves stripping off these proteins and greatly increasing the concentration. This processed free glutamate is in far greater quantities than that found in nature. Manufacturers are aware that the public are starting to avoid products with MSG or 621 so are using similar products with a different name or number. Some of these other additives may have different or more severe reactions than MSG.

620 L-Glutamic acid   625 Magnesium L-glutamate
621 Monosodium L-glutamate   627 Disodium 5'-glutamate
622 Monopotassium L-glutamate   631 Disodium 5'-isonate
623 Calcium glutamate   635 Disodium 5'-ribonucleotides
624 Monoammonium L-glutamate    

Hydrolysed vegetable protein is a concentrated form of natural MSG that is often used in processed foods instead of MSG. These are usually sold as "MSG free" or "No Added MSG". Hydrolysed vegetable protein is made from junk vegetables selected for their high quantity of excitotoxins. These are boiled in sulphuric acid and the acid is then neutralised with sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). The brown sludge is scraped from this, dried and powdered. This powder contains known carcinogens and dicarboxylic acid, the safety of which is unknown. MSG may be added to the powder before it is put into our food including baby food.

Other ways of disguising MSG is to call it a different name. Common sources of processed free glutamate (MSG) are:

Monosodium glutamate   Potassium glutamate
Glutamate   Autolyzed yeast
Hydrolysed vegetable protein   Malt extract
Hydrolysed plant protein   Yeast extract
Hydrolysed protein   Flavouring
Hydrolysed … anything   Natural flavouring
Plant protein extract   Calcium caseinate
Soy protein   Sodium caseinate
Textured protein   Seasoning
Vegetable protein extract   Spices
Anything … protein   Stock

Symptoms from MSG include sweating, heart palpitations, sleeplessness, heartburn, asthma, rashes, nausea, migraines and stiff necks. Some people are more sensitive than others.


Artificial Sweeteners: - 951, 952, 954, 961

The sweet taste begins as carbohydrates are broken down by saliva.  This prepares our body for a carbohydrate intake by preparing the enzymes required to digest the carbohydrates.  Apart from us liking the sweet taste, sugar does not give us any essential nutrients.  Artificial sweeteners cause weight gain by many mechanisms, such as causing unstable blood sugar levels, which increases the appetite and causes cravings for carbohydrates (sweets/sugar).


Sugar is not a nutritional requirement, but is in almost all processed foods. Low fat foods have sugar added to disguise the missing fats. Another source of sugar is in processed grains. These also break down through digestion into glucose. Excess glucose leads to high insulin levels and the storage of excess glucose as fat.
Increased sugar intake can be linked to:

Cardio Vascular Disease   Headaches
Cholesterol   Hormone imbalances
Depression   Hypertension
Diabetes   Hypoglycaemia
Eczema   Immune system disruption
Fatigue   Insulin resistance
Fatty liver   Weight gain

Aspartame 951 (NutraSweet, Equal)

Aspartame is another excitotoxin and it took 20 years of lobbying and debate before it was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  This was despite scientific data showing a link to the development of brain tumours in rats.  One month after approval for use in soft drinks the FDA commissioner, Arthur Hayes Jr. M.D., became a senior consultant for Burson-Marsteller, the Public Relations firm that managed G.D Searle’s account.

Aspartame is made up of methanol (10%), phenylalanine (50%) and aspartic acid (40%).  Methanol breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body.  Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin.  While formic acid is found in the venom of bee and ant stings.  Phenylalanine in excess can cause the serotonin levels in the brain to decrease leading to disorders such as depression.

Free methanol is created from aspartame when it is heated to above 30° C such as in a coffee or in cooked items.  This will also occur if soft drinks are not refrigerated all the time, such as during transport and during storage at the retailer.  On 27 June 1996, without public notice, the FDA removed all restrictions from aspartame allowing it to be used in everything, including all heated and baked goods.  Aspartame accounted for more than 75% of all adverse reactions reported to the US FDA's Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS).

Cyclamates 952 (Sucaryl; Sweetex)

Cyclamates were banned in the USA and UK in 1969 however it is still used in Australia.  A Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) survey in 2004 determined that the average consumer exceeded the acceptable daily intake.

Saccharin 954

In 1977, after a study indicating an increased rate of bladder cancer in rats, Canada banned saccharin while the US and other countries required a warning label on all saccharin products.  In 2000 the labelling requirements were lifted.
As the new NTP (National Toxicology Program) report explains: "Although it is impossible to absolutely conclude that it poses no threat to human health … saccharin is not reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen under conditions of general usage as an artificial sweeten."

Neotame 961

Neotame has similar structure to aspartame – except that, from its structure, appears to be even more toxic than aspartame.

Aspartame Reactions

The FDA had to list notified reactions to aspartame under Freedom of Information.  Of the 92, some are:

ADD/ADHD Alzheimer's Asthma Birth defects Brain cancer
Chronic fatigue Death Depression Epilepsy Fibromyalgia
Headaches/migraines Impotency Joint pains Memory loss Menstrual problems
Nausea vomiting Palpitations Panic attacks Parkinson's Weight gain

Avoiding Hidden Aspartame & Artificial Sweeteners

Soft drinks, over-the-counter drugs & prescription drugs (very common and listed under "inactive ingredients"), vitamin & herb supplements, yogurt, instant breakfasts, lollies, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa mixes, coffee beverages, instant breakfasts, gelatine desserts, frozen desserts, juice beverages, laxatives, milk drinks, shake mixes, tabletop sweeteners, tea beverages, instant teas and coffees, topping mixes, wine coolers, etc.

So, when you're consuming MSG, the level of glutamate in the blood can rise as high as 20-fold. You get very high glutamate levels in the blood after eating a meal containing MSG. You're stimulating all of the glutamate receptors. That's why some people get explosive diarrhoea and dyspepsia, because it stimulates the receptors in the oesophagus and small bowel. Others may develop irritable bowel, or if they have irritable bowel, it makes it a lot worse. If they have reflux, it makes that a lot worse. The thing about the cardiac conduction system glutamate receptors is this may explain the rise in sudden cardiac death.

What you see in almost all these cases is low magnesium. When the magnesium level is low, the glutamate receptors become hypersensitive, and so people – athletes in particular, if they are not supplementing with magnesium – are prone to sudden cardiac death, because of the glutamate receptors. If they eat a meal or something that contains glutamate or drink a diet cola before practice, it will produce such intense cardiac irritability; they'll die of sudden cardiac death. We know the sudden cardiac death is due to two things: Most commonly arrhythmia and coronary artery spasm. Both of which can be produced by glutamate.

Now for the kicker; Consume aspartame WITH MSG and the problems can be amplified, much like taking certain drugs with alcohol.

Please check labels carefully and compare it against this list.  Many people make the mistake of not checking labels carefully and continue to poison themselves.


Colours: -

Colouring is added to food to make it look good and to appeal to consumers.  Many people are aware of the link between some artificial colours and hyperactivity, but did you know many are proven or suspected carcinogens?  Some natural colours are also linked to hyperactivity.  These colours are not only used in food, but may also be used in medications.  Approximately half of the available additives are banned in at least one country.



Of the 50 or so available preservatives, only those listed below are considered safe.




Emulsifiers & Stabilisers


Anti-caking agents

Ever hear of Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?  These are modern day waste-basket diseases.  When, because of aspartame, MSG and/or milk and dairy the doctor has NO CLUE to a patients problem... They all to often misdiagnose a victim with one of those diseases... and then make matters worse by giving them inappropriate (but powerful and expensive) drugs. (

Asthma was rare in the 1960's and ADD/ADHD was not heard of. Ritalin (Speed) is now given to 2-3 year olds. The rates of Asthma have more than tripled since the 1960's despite the reduction in air pollution and tobacco smoke. Some of this increase may be attributed to the increased use of food additives.


Web sites references and books

Page citation: Douglas G, 2012, Short list of additives, Harding's Clinic of Natural Therapies, accessed [DATE], <>

Content updated Sep 2012
Links updated Nov 2012