Should we worry about food additives and E numbers?


This is an article about the chemicals used as food additives and E numbers. Many of us may be concerned about what is added to our food, why it is added and whether it can have an effect on our health or behaviour. This article explains why additives are used, and explores some of the concerns that some people may have.

Type of Activity

working independently



Age Group

14 to Teacher

This article provides information on food additives and E numbers, in relation to their uses and safety.


This is article from a series called 'Should we worry about..?' . The purpose of the series is to provide balanced information on chemicals that have had a high profile in the media. They are authored and approved by the Royal Society of Chemistry's Environment, Health and Committee (EHSC). One of the EHSC's aims is to help to improve the public image of chemistry and chemists by improving public understanding of the risks associated with the benefits of chemicals. To learn more about the EHSC, please go to .