Food Additives are substances added to food to enhance taste and appearance, improve shelf life and assist in the manufacturing process. Factory-made foods dominate the supermarket shelves and as a result chemical additives have become a part of the modern diet. The more processed a food, the more additives can be found. University studies conclusively indicate that many food additives are far from safe. Regular consumption of highly processed food may be associated with increases in diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, depression and asthma. In Australia and New Zealand about 300 food additives are permitted and commonly used. More than 50 are widely considered hazardous and detrimental to health. An average person consumes about 5kg of additives per year. Food additives have to appear on labels by function and code number. It makes sense to be well informed of food additive safely and to avoid the additives which are most notorious. Use this Guide to check labels when shopping and reject products that contain contentious additives.