In recent years, many food additives have been created to help to increase the shelf life and nutrient profile of many foods. This has improved certain aspects of food production, yet, when you can’t pronounce half of the items on an ingredient list, its perhaps not always a good idea to eat it. While most additives are considered harmless, some food additives have been linked to certain health complications.
Unfortunately, the average person cannot differentiate the good additives from the bad. The application Food Additives, developed by WebArtisans, aims to address this problem. Food Additives is a pocket catalog of common food additives and their risk factors to help people understand what goes in the the food they eat. This gives people better control over their diets and helps to minimize symptoms of disorders such as Celiac disease and asthma.
The Food Additives application lists and sorts many common food additives from numbers E100 to E1521. The cataloging system used in this application is the E numbering scheme for food additives set forth by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The Codex Alimentarius Commission was established by the United Nations and the World Health Organization in 1963 to help establish international food standards.
The Food Additives application actually represents only a partial list of additives. The full list encompasses more than 1900 different additives and their subgroups. Food Additives sorts the additives so you can browse by number, name, risk level, symptom, and diet. The risk levels are color coded, so you can see at a glance whether an additive is potentially dangerous. Each additive lists essential information, such as origin, function, use, alternate names, side effects, dietary restrictions, and possible symptoms. The app also shows the flags of each country or continent where the additive is unapproved, and each additive has a Wikipedia link to provide further reading (if available). There is no search feature in this app, however, which would be helpful to shorten browsing time.
Food Additives is a great app for people on restrictive diets (religious and vegan diets) and for those with food sensitivities and allergies. People do need to keep in mind that this app is only a partial list, and they can view a full list of additives online on Wikipedia. With the help of the Food Additives app, the average person can decode ingredient labels without a chemistry degree! This guide is nice because no internet connection is needed; you can conveniently look up additives while at the grocery store.
Food Additives requires the iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch.