Reading the Label: Nutritional Additives in Organic Foods


Not all additives allowed for use in conventional foods are allowed in organic food production.

Do organic foods contain nutritional supplements?

In the production of organic products, many food additives that may be harmful to health are prohibited, including additives that can cause allergic reactions. While hundreds of food additives are allowed in conventional food production, only 30 additives are allowed in organic food and beverage production, with the manufacturer only allowed to use them if they can prove that the food cannot be prepared or stored without them. Separately, there is a ban on the use of hydrogenated fat, phosphoric acid (found in cola), sugar substitute — aspartame, monosodium glutamate flavor enhancer, as well as sulfur dioxide, which is used in the manufacture of fruit juices, soft drinks, as well as in dried fruits, wine, beer and sauces. It should be noted that sulfur dioxide is allowed for use in organic wine, but its content must be three times lower than the maximum allowable standards for non-organic wines.

Food additives approved for use in organic products

Several food additives are currently approved for use in the production of organic food and beverages. The list of those is regularly updated and revised. Currently, approved supplements include:

food additives in organic food

E160 Annatto, red-yellow vegetable dye

Е170 Calcium carbonate

Е220 Sulfur dioxide

Е250 Sodium nitrite

E251 Sodium nitrate

E252 Potassium nitrate

E270 Lactic acid

E290 Carbon dioxide

E296 Malic acid

Е300 Ascorbic acid

E306 Vitamin E

Е322 Lecithins

Е330 Citric acid

Е333 Calcium citrate

Е334 Tartaric acid

E335 Sodium tartrate

E336 Potassium tartrate

E341 Calcium phosphate 1-substituted

E406 If

E407 Carrageenan

E410 Locust bean gum

Е412 Guar gum

Е414 Arabic gum

Е415 Food emulsifier

E440 Pectin

E500 Soda

Е501 Potassium carbonate

E503 Ammonium carbonate

E509 Calcium chloride

Е516 Calcium sulfate

Е948 Oxygen

Salt or sodium chloride is used as a preservative and also to enhance the flavor of foods. Magnesium chloride, also known as nigari (Japanese for brine), is used as a coagulant for soy milk in making soy curd.

Reading the label: organic food

Reading the label: Frequently asked questions about organic products

Source: Adapted from How to Read Labels by Amanda Ursell

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