Nothing has frustrated me more in my research on food additives more than this one. Annatto, also known as 160b E160b, Norbixin or Bixin is a natural yellow food coloring often found in foods that are marketed to young children.
So what is so frustrating about this additive, after all it says it's natural right? True it is natural, but it's as natural as arsenic is and we don't sprinkle that on our weetbix! What is frustrating is that foods that were otherwise perfect to be consumed are ruined by this one additive.
You will notice that it will be listed as the last ingredient on most labels of food that you would have been able to give your children happily, but once Annatto is added the product is no longer an option, which to me is a real shame.
It is a shame in that there is an alternative, Betacarotene or 160a, E160a a much safer option and will provide the same desired yellow color. This option is used extensively in Europe but most manufacturers consider it too expensive and difficult to work with compared to the cheaper option of Annatto.
The best option however, is just to be color free, which I'm sure most parents would be happy with if it meant they had another food option for their children.
So what will this ingredient do? Well it has been known to inflict the following symptoms:
- allergic type reactions
- skin rashes
- gastrointestinal upsets
- restricting airways
- central nervous system reactions
- headbanging in young children
- sleep disturbance in both adults and children
- a obsessive attention to all things related with the color yellow (honest!)
The reactions can be same day or have a delayed response.
You can find Annatto in the following food products:
- Granola Bars/Muesli Bars
- Breakfast Cereals
- Snack foods
- Corn chips
- Salad dressings
Bec Taylor is asking her readers, do you like your frozen fries dipped in embalming fluid?
Do you want to throw the perfect colour free birthday party?
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