Food Additives/Preservatives Safety
Food Additives from Insanyya Apps and Food Additives Checker from Tappy Taps are some examples of apps that help consumers understand food additives safety and change their eating habits and shopping. More information regarding apps and websites that help customers understand food additives is provided below.
Food Additives — App
- Food Additives, provided by Insanyya Apps, is a free application that helps consumers identify over 650 additives (E numbers) that are present in different food products.
- For each additive identified, the app provides the level of danger, origin (e.g. vegetal, animal), type (e.g. food coloring, emulsifier), and if the additive is halal, kosher, vegetarian, or vegan.
- The app also contains a dictionary with the most used words in the food additive world and information about nanoparticles and ultra-processed foods. It also has a product scan option that displays a list of food additives, a list of ingredients with allergens, possible traces of gluten, nuts, etc., and the origin of ingredients.
- The app is available in the Google Play Store.
Food Additives Checker (E Numbers) — App
- This app, provided by Tappy Taps, helps consumers make knowledgeable decisions about what food to buy, based on their food additive content.
- It has a database of over 500 food additives, indications for hazard/restriction, information on ingredients' origin, and it doesn't need an internet connection. The app is currently available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Czech. "E numbers are categorized from 1 (good) to 5 (dangerous), to give you an idea about their safety or health risks."
- The app is available on the App Store and Google Play and has a price of $1.99.
Consumer Information on Ingredients & Packaging — Website
- FDA's 'Consumer Information on Ingredients & Packaging' is a site that contains information on food additives, ingredients, and packaging and food contact substances.
- This online guide is directed to customers and helps them make smart nutrition choices.
- Additives included in this guide are azodicarbonamide , Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), sweeteners, color additives, and ingredients in specific products (e.g. carbonated drinks).
After extensive research, we concluded that there no websites or apps in the public domain that help the general population to understand the safe amounts of specific food additives. Helpful websites belong to government entities, like the one provided by the FDA. The UK, Hong Kong, and Australian governments have similar sites to guide consumers on food additives, but none of them helps them understand food additives' safe amounts on products. We also observed that these sites lack information that food additive apps are able to provide, like additive databases and E numbers. Additionally, we concluded that there are many apps available for free or for purchase that help consumers recognize harmful food additives, but none of them seem to inform them about the "safe amount" of each one. Through our research, we found useful books for consumers (A Consumer's Guide to Toxic Food Additives and A-Z Guide to Food Additives) that may contain all information about food additives and help them make the right eating choices.