Types of Food Additive Intolerances

There are hundreds and hundreds of different types of food additives and so there are just as many food additive intolerances. The following is a list of the most common food additive intolerances:

  • Sulphites
  • Benzoates
  • Tartazine
  • MSG
  • Nitrates


Sulphites are one of the many preservatives used in modern food production. It can be found in some of our favourite fizzy drinks and even some types of fruit and vegetables.

It is also commonly seen in wine manufacturer. The sulphur dioxide produced during wine and/or beer manufacture can trigger asthma attacks in asthmatics.


The benzoates are types of additives; that can be used to preserve foods by preventing the growth of moulds and yeasts. They a mostly used in fizzy drinks, but can be found naturally in fruit and honey.

If you suffer from asthma or eczema, benzoate exposure can cause these conditions to worsen.


Tartrazine is a colouring (yellow) used in foods such as fizzy drinks and sweets. Tartrazine has been shown to cause hives, dermatitis, asthma or rhinitis in a small group of people.


The following is a list of possible symptoms related to food additive intolerance:

  • Asthma
  • Flushing
  • Headaches
  • Chest discomfort
  • Skin rashes

More specifically, certain food additives can be associated with certain symptoms:

  • Sulphites – can cause asthma or exacerbate asthma
  • Food colouring – have been associated with anaphylaxis
  • Nitrates – have been known to cause hives and itchy skin
  • MSG – linked with headaches

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