Sensibilidade a Aditivos Alimentares

Sensitivity to Food Additives

Food additives are substances that are added to food to preserve or improve properties such as appearance, taste and texture. Most of these substances result from chemical synthesis, but they can also come from natural sources, in some cases derived from allergens. (1.2)

The use of food additives is regulated in the European Union by its own legislation, based on studies that demonstrate the risk to health, the technological need and the maximum levels allowed for each additive. However, some people may be sensitive to levels below the permitted levels. (1)

Although rare, hypersensitivity reactions to food additives should not be taken lightly. Most of them are intolerance reactions that, although they manifest clinically in the same way as food allergies, depend on other mechanisms that do not involve the direct involvement of the immune system, but which can be equally serious. People with allergies may be more susceptible to developing these types of reactions, with the risk being greater in asthmatics. (1.2)

The main examples of additives that can trigger food intolerance reactions are artificial colors, such as tartrazine; preservatives such as sulfites and benzoates; artificial sweeteners/sweeteners such as aspartame; flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate. Manifestations can include headaches, hives, eczema, bronchospasm, asthma attacks, among others. (3)

At Fidu, we do not use artificial additives and minimize the use of natural additives to those strictly necessary, because we want our recipes to be healthier and more harmless alternatives, similar to traditional (non-industrial) alternatives. In this way, we also minimize the risk of adverse reactions in people who are sensitive to food additives.

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IMPORTANT NOTE : The content of this article is merely informative. If you suspect that you suffer from any type of allergy or intolerance, you should seek medical advice.


(1) SPAIC Food Allergy Interest Group, 2017. Food Allergy: Concepts, Advice and Precautions, 1st Edition. Lisbon: Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology with support from Thermo Fisher.

(2) Coimbra et al., s/d. Patient Education Manual: Allergens and Food Additives. Lisbon: Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SPAIC).

(3) Matricardi, 2014. The allergy epidemic. Global Atlas of Allergy (pp. 113-114). European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.