You know what sodium benzoate is, tartrazine and MSG. If you're conscious of how harmful they are, you don't buy products with that crap in it.
Yet if you go to Europe, you cannot see those ingredients defined. They use numbers and codes over there.
To help you:
- E211 is sodium benzoate, a nasty preservative and when it is mixed with vitamin C (ascorbic acid), it reacts to form benzene which is cancer-causing. These ingredients are commonly found in soda. Many companies are removing them but many also keep it in.
- E621 is monosodium glutamate, the "flavor enhancer"
- E110 is sunset yellow which is an azo dye
- E104 is quinoline which is an azo dye
- E102 is tartrazine which is an azo dye. The azo dyes are problematic in many children
- E122 is carmoisine which is a dye
- E124 is ponceau 4R which is a dye
- E129 is allura red AC which is a dye
A spokesman for Coca-Cola said: "We use preservatives in some of our products - particularly those that include fruit - to ensure that they remain unspoiled throughout their shelf life, whether people are able to store them in a fridge or not.
Tartrazine is known to cause the most allergic and/or intolerance reactions of all the azo dyes, particularly in those with an aspirin intolerance and asthmatics. Other reactions may include migraine, blurred vision,itching, rhinitis and purple skin patches, (because of this more use is now being made of Annatto which is E160b.
In conjunction with Benzoic acid, tartrazine appears to create an over-activity in children. Not recommended for consumption by children.
A great resource for E-Numbers and their definitions:
The UK Food Guide
Print out the list and take it with you next time you head for the EU.