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A chemical is an additive if we add it to food, but we would not normally think of it as a food by itself. There are 200 additives currently listed as suitable for use in food in Australia. They include preservatives, food colourings, supplementary vitamins, and artificial sweeteners. Additives can improve storage life, appearance, nutritive value, or flavour but these benefits have to be balanced against the risk that the additives will be bad for our health. For example ammonium chloride, one of the chemicals found in some bread improvers, decreases the acidity of urine and should be avoided by people with liver or kidney problems.

Label on bread packet
magnifyLabel on bread packet
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