Are artifical food colourings & flavours harmful?
Food flavors and colorings are commonly used to enhance the natural properties of chemical substances found in foods. Food colorings may be used to make foods look more appealing, while food flavorings are added to enhance existing flavor or add new flavor to otherwise bland products.
Increasing attention is being paid to food additives used nowadays, with growing concerns about their safety and potential health risks. In particular, the effect on children’s development and behaviour is a topic of ongoing discussion.
Food flavorings are added in order to enhance food flavors, e.g., sweeten or add new flavor to otherwise bland products. Food flavorings may also aid in preservation of the products or help to ensure that the product stays fresh for a prolonged period of time. Food flavorings may be natural or artificial.
Whole natural food flavorings are generally considered healthier and safer, but this may not always be the case. For example, natural almond flavoring is a source of poisonous hydrogen cyanide, while no such chemical is present in the artificial almond flavoring. Food flavorings do not add nutritional value to food products, and may sometimes be harmful in nature. Smoked foods especially are considered carcinogenic, but are appreciated due to their particular flavor.