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May 10, 2014

Foods from the pantry exercise – label the ingredients and additives

by Helene van den Berg

FOODS FROM THE PANTRY EXERCISE – label the ingredients and additives:

  • Butterscotch Bonjour bread –wheat flour, sucrose, whey powder, skimmed milk powder, modified starch, cocoa powder, dextrose, vanilla, palm oil, margarine , yeast, emulsifiers (322), antioxidant BHT (321), citric acid (330), coloring – tartrazine (102), sunset yellow 2G (107) and carotenoid (160)
  • Oreo strawberry cream cookies – sugar, wheat flour, palm oil, cocoa powder, salt, fructose syrup, antioxidant- BHA (320), raising agent- sodium bicarbonate, emulsifier (322), citric acid, colorant- indigo carmine (132)
  • Pro vita (whole wheat crisp bread from SA)- whole wheat flour (63%), wheat flour (gluten), unhydrogenated vegetable oil (palm fruit), butter, golden syrup, glucose syrup, whey powder, salt, malt extract, yeast, protealytic enzyme, emulsifier (E322, soya)
  • raising agents ( sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate), Preservative (sodium metabisulphite (223)
  • First Choice choc éclair ice cream – whey powder, sugar, palm oil, cocoa powder, milk solids, water, emulsifier-soy lecithin (322) and (471),(472); citric acid (330), colorants- (101) and tatrazine (102); caramel cream flavor (150).
  • Skippy (peanut butter)- roasted peanuts, peanut oil, vegetable oil (rapeseed, cottonseed and soya bean), sugar and salt.
  • Koo bean salad – large white beans, cane sugar, vinegar, modified maize starch (E140), Xanthan gum (E415), salt, food colorant (caramel (E150), citric acid (E330)
  • Diet lemon cordial – lemon juice (25%), water, food acids (330,331), natural flavor sweetener, aspartame (951), pectin (440), preservative: sodium metabisulphite (223).
  • Mrs Balls chutney (popular SA condiment, my favorite!) – sugar, water, vinegar, dried fruit (peaches 6.9% and apricot 0.95%), fruits contain sulphur dioxide, modified maize starch (E140), salt, caramel colorant (E150), radurised chilli,
  • Cross & Blackwell TRIM low oil dressing mayonnaise (another favorite SA condiment!!) – water, vinegar, non-hydrogenated vegetable fat (9%/ sunflower seeds), anti-oxidant (E319), modified maize starch (E140), sugar, salt, flavorings, thickener (E405), lemon juice (contain sulphur dioxide (220)), stabilizer(E435), citric acid (E330), preservative: potassium sorbate (E202); saccharine (E954), colorants (E104, E110).

Common additive classes in above products are:

  • Coloring/flavor – (caramel= E150, sunset yellow= E110, yellow 2G=107, chlorophylis E140);
  • Emulsifier – Lechitins (322); Thickener – Xanthan gum (E415,405)
  • Raising agents – sodium bicarbonate
  • Food acid – Citric acid (E330), sodium citrate (E331).
  • Antioxidants – BHA (320), BHT (321)
  • Preservatives: sodium metabisulphite,(223); potassium sorbate (E202); sulphur dioxide (220)
  • Sweetener – aspartame= 951, saccharine = 954


I am shocked at the amount of harmful ingredients in so called “healthy” foods!. Pro Vita means “pro-life”; it is advertised as “feel good food”, a “ healthy alternative to bread”…, which is very far removed from the truth. It contains a lot of sugar, salt and the preservative, sodium metabisulphite (may provoke life-threatening asthma)!. One Pro vita is equal to one slice of bread in terms of calories – the satiety value is much lower in a Pro vita than in bread; therefore I overindulge in 10 Pro vitas (equaling 10 slices of bread!).

I will rather replace Pro vitas with ONE slice of organic three grain bread with whole rye kernels, organic barley, oats, sesame seeds, flax seed and sea salt, lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals and NO PRESERVATIVES!.

Advertising is very misleading: So-called “trim”- mayonnaise is lower in fat, but loaded with salt and sugar; it contains an sweetener, saccharine – interfere with blood sugar levels (obesity), digestive function, causes cancer of the bladder, uterus, ovaries, skin and blood vessels in animals, linked to DNA damage and congenital abnormalities in animals, ; it contains preservatives and yellow colorants: (E104) – asthma, rashes and hyperactivity, implicated in liver and bladder cancer, altered reproduction in animals; (E110) – growth retardation and severe weight loss in animal studies, cancer, DNA damage and increases tumors in animals; should be totally AVOIDED in allergies and asthma!.

In future, I will replace my unhealthy trim-mayonnaise with wholesome, flavorsome, Greek style natural yoghurt!.

I always thought a “master” chef can’t prepare any curry dish without Ms Balls chutney, but studying the ingredients, have convinced me to scratch it from my shopping list!. To compensate for the low content of real fruit in the chutney, sugar, salt has been added to it as well as emulsifiers and caramel colorant . The preservative is the scary part: (sulphur dioxide – may induce gastric irritation, nausea, diarrhea, asthma attacks, skin rashes, destroys vitamin B1, may cause fetal abnormalities and DNA damage in cells;

Sadly, I had to bid my Ms Balls farewell and dumped it in the trash bin!. From this day forward, I will ask my “ex-farmer” – friend to prepare me a bottle of healthy, fruity chutney and use natural herbs and spices like thyme, basil, oregano, ginger, garlic, shallots etc.

The bottled KOO bean salad is a toxic potion of colorants and preservatives!. I am allergic (skin rashes) to the preservative, sulphur dioxide. Therefore, I will replace it with a freshly home-made three bean salad, with peppadews, spring onions, and a salad dressing of honey, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and organic balsamic vinegar!.

I will replace Skippy peanut butter with a handful of brazil and almond nuts, whenever I have the urge to nibble on something!.

DIET lemon cordials are out!. The sweetener, aspartame, may cause neurological damage; breaks down in the body to: phenylalanine (neurotoxin-may cause seizures); aspartic acid – (damages developing brain in children) and methanol – (converts to formaldehyde); crosses the placental barrier from mother to baby, even in small doses.; implicated in diseases such as multiple sclerosis/MS and non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; may contribute to obesity!. After this shocking revelations, it doesn’t take much to convince me to drink plain bottled/purified water! (I love red wine – the sulfites in red wine is a problem for me….will look for the organic, good quality red wines!).

I will definitely pay more attention to reading the labels of products with discernment, avoiding processed and canned foods. I will purchase more wholesome, fresh, natural and organic products and if possible, directly from markets and farmers.

FOOD COLORANTS (#100-155) in above foods are:

  • Tatrazine (102) – bread, ice cream
  • Sunset yellow FCF (110), yellow 2G (102) – mayonnaise, bread
  • Indigo carmine (132) – Oreo cookies
  • Caramel (150) – ice cream, bean salad, chutney
  • Chlorophylis (140) – chutney, bean salad, mayonnaise

NAMES OF FOOD ADDITIVES in above products:

  • Bread – emulsifiers – lechitin (322); antioxidant- butylated hydroxyl toluene/ BHT (321); citric acid (330); coloring – tartrazine (102), colorants -sunset yellow 2G (107) and carotenoid (160)
  • Oreo cookies – antioxidant: butylated hydroxyl- anisole/ BHA (320), raising agent- sodium bicarbonate, emulsifier: lechitin (322), citric acid (330), colorant: indigo carmine (132)
  • Pro vita – emulsifier – lechitin (E322); raising agents- sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate), Preservative: sodium metabisulphite (223)
  • Ice cream – emulsifier-soy lecithin (322) and (471),(472); citric acid (330), colorants- riboflavin (101) and tatrazine (102); caramel cream flavor (150).
  • Bean salad – modified maize starch-chlorophylis (E140), Xanthan gum (E415), food colorant- caramel (E150), citric acid (E330)
  • Cordial –citric acid (330), sodium citrates (331), natural flavor sweetener, aspartame (951), preservative: sodium metabisulphite (223).
  • Chutney –fruits contain sulphur dioxide, modified maize starch- chlorophylis (E140), caramel colorant (E150).
  • Mayonnaise – modified maize starch- chlorophylis (E140), thickener- propylene glycol alginate (E405), lemon juice (contain sulphur dioxide (220), stabilizer(E435), citric acid (E330), preservative: potassium sorbate (E202); sweetener – saccharine (E954), colorants- sunset yellow FCF (110).

I am shocked to see the long list of additives that is incorporated under the guise of “food”!.

It is true that big business and commercial gain is the bottom line- not the consumers health!. Historically, foods were grown, collected and eaten directly from an unpolluted earth. Wild foods were sought and gathered. The human population grew rapidly, farming progressed, trade developed and local markets shared a variety of goods among a diversity of people.

Techniques for food preparation and preservation (salting, smoking) were developed to deal with problems of storage, waste and food-borne illnesses. With advanced technology our modern food industry’s reliance on processing and additives continues to increase. The foodstuffs sold in our supermarkets today are chemically adulterated to taste, look and smell like food, but is loaded with toxins our bodies can’t get rid off!.

The food industry has continually created new chemicals to manipulate, preserve and transform our food. With the use of chemicals, scientists are able to mimic natural flavors, color foods to make them look more “fresh” or “natural”, preserve foods for longer periods of time. There are even food products that are made entirely from chemicals e.g. coffee creamers (Nescafe 3-in-1 coffee) , sugar substitutes (Canderel) and candies. Such manipulation of our food can have profound effect on our body’s unique biochemical balance .

Human’s cleverness, greediness and self-glorification, is destroying God’s perfect creation – the human body…which is the very image of God himself!.

(2 Cor 7:1 – “Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness, out of REVERENCE for God”).

Avoiding or minimizing toxins in my diet is a positive step in enhancing my health and lowering my risk of disease. Effects of food additives have immediate and long term effects. Immediate effects may include headaches, lower energy- concentration- and immune levels and alter behavior (hyperactivity).

Long-term effects may increase risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other degenerative conditions (see above examples in (b) (ii) of colorants, sweeteners and preservatives). I will look for foods that are not packaged and processed, but enjoy nature’s own fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and seeds. I will find foods that resemble what they looked like when they were originally grown.

Have you ever seen a field of Oreo cookies?.



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