Product of the Year

The food industry gives a "Product of the Year" award every year to acknowledge innovation. We intend to highlight some of the products here each year to see whether our concerns about additives are reaching the ears of industry.

Here is one of the products that won an award this year. Look at the label. What could be wrong with an all-natural plain product like this from a food intolerance point of view? It even has no added MSG!

ANSWER: The giveaway on products like this is the "No Added MSG" because it always means that there is, in fact, MSG (monosodium glutamate, 621) or other glutamates in the product.

Where are they? They are the major ingredient in the soy sauce. Misleading? "Plain" rice crackers or glutamate-flavoured? You be the judge and vote with your wallet.


Earlier, we had a Nasty Food Award, but legal concerns have forced us to drop this category. Below you will find previous Nasty Food Awards.

Nasty Food Awards

The Food Intolerance Network invited members to submit photos of their favourite nasty food, one full of additives or with a tricky label.  See other nominations below this table.






See details at


May 2009

Lots of people complain about the heavy direct marketing of Slush Puppie to kids, particularly as most of the varieties contain one or more of the Southampton Six artificial colours being phased out in the UK and carrying a warning label in the EU.

All contain up to three nasty preservatives known to affect kids health or behaviour 202 (potassium sorbate), 211 (sodium benzoate) or 223 (sodium metabisulphite).

It’s even worse that they boast that these are registered products with the Federation of Canteens in Schools (FOCIS), supports the NSW & QLD Canteen Strategy (AMBER) and is a registered "Healthy Kids Product". I wonder if they’ll also note that they win a Nasty Food Award from the Food Intolerance Network?"

As one parent said “It also made me mad that the mothers at the school really thought they'd put the effort in to find something good to serve the kids and they really believe that it is good - (even telling my kids -"It's ok ,it's all natural") - so the more parents who know about this the better!”







What outrages the many people who complain about this product is the “Simple Goodness – no artificial colours or flavours” logo.

621 (monosodium glutamate MSG), 635 (mixture of ribonucleotides 627 & 631) and 631 (disodium inosinate) are not technically flavours, they are flavour enhancers. A distinction that amuses regulators but the effects are not amusing for some - see Ribo Rash factsheet.

Note (March 2009): the noodles themselves now  contain synthetic antioxidant 319 TBHQ, so not even these are failsafe.





July 2006

Australian-owned Golden Circle Juicy Fruit Sticks are 99% fruit (albeit foreign, reconstituted and with peel) and 1% added benzoates, sorbates, sulphites, synthetic flavours, tartrazine and sunset yellow. Our member said “one of the most misleading products I have seen and one of the worst offenders for sneaking unnecessary chemicals into products with children as the target consumer.”





July 2006


Our member commented “and to think they are using them as a fund raiser in schools..!!!” This cinnamon apple filled Krispy Kreme has five nasty preservatives and over fifty ingredients.

See ingredient comment.





July 2006

This Spinach and Ricotta roll might be expected to be vegetarian, but it contains chicken powder (!) plus nasty preservatives 202 & 220, nasty colours 102 & 124 (plus two others illegible) and five different flavour enhancers: 627, 631, 635, soy sauce powder and yeast extract (MSG, 621). Our member “bought this in preference to a sausage roll thinking it would be a better choice”!!







Mar 2006

Wacky Water contains two nasty additives and a wicked advertising claim (“helps you get better grades”) that is contrary to all scientific evidence regarding these additives.

Plain water is the best drink.







Mar 2006

Streets Rainbow Paddlepops contain sulphites in the glucose syrup (risk of asthma) and three nasty colours (risk of irritability, sleep disturbance, restlessness).

Why are they recommended by the NSW School Canteen Association?










Mar 2006

Home Brand Canola from Woolworths contains two nasty synthetic antioxidants. Nearly all other cooking oils have phased out these unnecessary additives, so why does Woolworths persist?

May 2008 SUCCESS! The Home Brand Canola no longer contains these antioxidants, but check the label in case you are being offered old stock. Consumer action!









What happens if you take two loaves of bread with the same use-by date, Wonder White (left) with preservative 282 and Might Soft (right) with no preservative 282, and let them stand at room temperature side by side for eight days? Remember that 282 is used as a mould inhibitor.

Jan 2006 The Wonder White with preservative is covered in mould. The Might Soft no-preservative bread has no mould growth at all! Why? Maybe it's made in more hygienic conditions, or with slightly lower moisture content. Try this for yourself and let me know......

Mar 2006 SUCCESS! The two biggest selling breads in Australia, Mighty Soft and Wonder White, no longer contain preservative 282. Consumers have spoken.



On the left is the menu in a Qld café, but what you get is fake chicken: scraps blasted off carcasses with steam, combined with "extenders", antioxidants, flavour enhancers, flavours, coated in Cajun spices. Inedible. Comment? "This isn't a gourmet restaurant, luv."




Pressure from our Network urged Devondale to take BHA 320 and flavour enhancer 635 out of their Dairysoft range, so why are they still in their "healthy" alternative?

Mar 2006 SUCCESS! This product no longer contains either BHA 320 or flavour enhancer 635. We can make a difference.




The "25% fruit juice" on the front turns out to be 40% orange peel (do you want pesticides with that?), and since when was peel a fruit?

Don't mention two nasty preservatives and a nasty annatto colour.


Other nominations for Nasty Foods Awards



Hi there, just a classic horror, Made for little kids and so terrible! Kids really don't care what colout their food is, why colour it with something as questionable as Annatto? I personally wonder if it is a little bit addictive, it seems whenever your kid is in the grips of something nasty they keep asking for the thing that makes that way...anyhow, thank you so much for all your hard work, you have, needless to say, brought sanity and our happy child back to our home - Warm regards, Jayne

Ingredients: Fruit Filling (40%) [Fruits, (Apple Paste (17%), Blueberry Puree (2.4%))Invert Sugar, Sugar, Humectant (422), Gelling Agent (440), Wheat Fibre, Flavour, Food Acids (296, 327)], Wholemeal Wheat Flour (20%) [Vitamin (Thiamin)], Water, Glucose, Sugar, Wheat Flour, Unsalted Butter, Milk Solids, Rolled Oats (1.2%), Humectant (422), Wheat Bran (1.0%), Raising Agents (450, 500), Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 471), Inulin (Dietary Fibre),Flavour, Natural Colour (Annatto), Traces of Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Egg & Sesame.


Fruit Filling (40%) [Apple Paste (19%), Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Humectant (422), Wheat Fibre, Food Acid (330), Cinnamon Flavour], Wholemeal Wheat Flour (20%) [Vitamin (Thiamin)], Water, Glucose, Sugar, Wheat Flour, Unsalted Butter, Milk Solids, rolled Oats (1.2%), Humectant (422), Wheat Bran (1.0%), Raising Agents (450, 500), Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 471), Flavour, Cinnamon, Natural Colour (Annatto), Traces of Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Egg & Sesame.


FANTASTIC SNACKS AUSTRALIA Xtra Saucy Noodles Peanut Satay Flavour (Jan 2007)

INGREDIENTS: Noodles: [wheat flour, vegetable oil (antioxidant (320, 321)), modified potato starch (1420), salt, flavour enhancer (621), vegetable gums (412, 466), acidity regulators (500, 501 ,451, 452, 450), colour (164)],  dehydrated seasonal vegetables, sugar, coconut milk powder (coconut milk, maltodextrin, milk protein, mineral salt (339)), salt, flavour enhancer (621, 627, 631), non dairy creamer, flavours (peanut, mushroom, coconut), yeast extract, herbs, spices, vinegar powder, chilli powder, celery powder.

Sauce sachet: water, vegetable oil, modified starch (1422), paprika extract, preservatives (202), peanut flavour. CONTAINS MILK. MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF NUTS, SESAME, CRUSTACEA, EGG AND SOY.

This is one of the most terrible products I have ever seen. Young people (Teenagers) are the target consumers. Considering the susceptibility of developing brains to excitotoxins, (such as MSG), as well as the shelf space designated to this and related products, the future health of the [New Zealand] population is a scary prospect.

The noodles contain two nasty antioxidants (320, 321), salt AND flavour enhancer 621, or MSG. Next in weight to the actual noodles comes dehydrated seasonal vegetables, with sugar following right behind. Then coconut milk powder (!), with MORE salt, AND more MSG, along with Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate (both very nasty flavour enhancers). Then we have peanut, mushroom and coconut flavour (No actual peanuts of course it s only peanut satay flavour), the yeast extract (even MORE MSG), then some unidentified herbs and spices.

The quantity of this stuff on supermarket shelves is unbelievable. MSG is absolutely everywhere. Chips, frozen dinners, snack foods. And as the public becomes aware of the debate, it is hidden, or replaced (eg: the rising amount of 635 in our food). MSG hides under hydrolysed vegetable protein, Natural flavouring, Yeast extract and lots more.

I find this product to be a frightening example of current food health and safety standards – Karen, NZ


Always ask to view the Lenards Chicken ingredient book before buying your chicken. At my local Lenards this week, I decided to investigate the ingredients for our favourite Lenards meals - the strudel roll and the chicken mini roast.

Lenards keep a book handy for customers to view all the ingredients in their products. My worst suspicions were confirmed when I found the mini roast and strudel pages - both products are FULL of chemicals, with at least one from every chemical family present.

The strudel was the worst, containing multiple preservatives, msg (hvp), colours, and multiple antioxidants too. The mini roast was a very close second with preservatives and antioxidants. There may have been more chemical present, but I was in a hurry and didn't think to bring a pen to record the specific numbers etc.

Finding results like these makes the decision to NEVER eat Lenards strudel or mini roasts again very easy. There were so many poisonous chemicals that it seemed more like a tasty option for euthanasia, than a family meal! – Chris, by email.


Homebrand Burrito Tortillas Flour Tortillas – contain 200,202, 282, 319, 320!! – reader, by email.


The Health story: great flavour makes hydration more fun; with calcium, low joule; no artificial colours, flavour or sweeteners; sweetened with fruit

juice. Variants: Apple Raspberry and Lemon Lime. What happened to water? – reader, by email.


I am writing in regards to your claim on the packaging that Borgs Apple & custard Puffs are free of Artificial Colours. I do believe that Colours 124, 102 and 123 are considered Artificial and not Natural. is an interesting government report about artificial colours. I would like to know what is being done regarding the packaging of your product and correcting this mislabeling?

No reply was ever received.  – Elena, by email.