Safe & Unsafe Food Additives

safe and unsafe food additives

Below is a list of safe & unsafe food additives in respect to human foods. Many of these additives may also be found in pet foods, so this may serve as an initial warning about any unsafe additives in a pet food.

This table also serves to identify the reasons an additive may be used in a pet food, such as to add colour, regulate acidity, thicken a food (such as wet pet foods), or to add flavour to encourage your pet to eat a food they may otherwise be reluctant to eat (often called a “palatant” in the pet food industry).

You may, of course, use this list of safe & unsafe food additives as a reference from products you buy for yourself. You may be surprised what additives are used, and why.

Apparently safe (for humans – please check for pets)Avoid if possible (for humans AND pets)
Colours
100 – 182
100, 101, 103, 106, 140, 141, 160 160a, 161, 161a-f, 161h, 162, 163, 170, 181102,104, 105, 107. 110 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 142, 143, 150a-c, 151, 152 153, 154, 155, 160b, 160c-f, 161g, 173, 174, 175, 180, 181, 182
Preservatives
200 – 297
234, 260, 262, 263, 290, 297200, 201, 202, 203, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 242, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 261, 264, 270, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 296
Acidity Regulators, Anti-Oxidants
300 – 385
300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 306, 307, 308, 309, 315, 316, 322, 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, 336, 337, 339, 340, 341, 343, 350, 351, 352, 353, 357, 365, 366, 367, 375, 381310, 311, 312, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 325,  326, 327, 328, 329, 335, 338, 342, 349, 354, 355, 359, 363, 368, 370, 380, 385
Vegetable Gums, Thickeners 400 – 495400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 406, 411, 415, 418, 425, 440, 440a, 440b, 442, 444, 450, 451, 452, 460, 469, 470a, 471, 472a-c, 472f, 473, 475, 476, 479b, 481405, 407, 407a, 409, 410, 412, 413, 414, 416, 417, 420, 421, 422, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 436, 441, 445, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 470b, 472e, 474, 477, 478, 480, 482, 483, 491, 492, 493, 494, 495
Mineral Salts, Anti-Caking Agents  500 – 586500, 501, 504, 515, 516, 517, 535, 537, 538, 542, 543, 550, 551, 552, 558, 559, 572, 574, 575, 577, 578, 585503, 507, 508, 509, 510, 511, 512. 513, 514, 518, 519, 520, 521, 522, 523, 524, 525, 526, 527, 528, 529, 530, 536, 539, 540, 541, 544, 545, 553a, 553b, 554, 555, 556, 560, 570, 576, 579, 580, 586
Flavour Enhancers620, 621, 622, 623, 624, 625, 626, 627, 628, 629, 630, 631, 632, 633, 634, 635, 636, 637, 600 – 641 640, 641
Thickeners, Vegetable Gums, etc.913, 915, 922, 923, 941, 942, 953, 1100, 1103, 1105, 1518900, 900a, 901, 902, 903, 904, 905a-c, 906, 907, 912, 914, 920, 921, 924, 925, 926, 927a, 927b, 928, 930, 940, 943a, 943b, 944, 946, 950, 951, 952, 953, 954, 955, 956, 957, 959, 961, 965, 966, 967, 966, 999, 1101, 1102, 1104, 1200, 1201, 1202,1400, 1401, 1402, 1403, 1404, 1405, 1410, 1411, 1412, 1413, 900 -1521 1414, 1420, 1421, 1422, 1430, 1440, 1441, 1442, 1450, 1451, 1505, 1510, 1516, 1517, 1520, 1521
FlavoursNo numeric codesAvoid artificial flavours wherever possible!

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