All processed foods contain food additives

False. Not all processed food contains food additives. In Australia, food laws, in the form of regulations and standards, control the use of food additives, and only approved additives may be legally added to food. Foods may contain only those additives specified in the Food standards Code (see further reading section for publication details) and generally, but not in all cases, in specified maximum amounts. Most nutritionally significant processed foods have their compositions defined in the food Standards Code. Although a food is allowed to contain particular additives, a food manufacturer may decide not to use one or all of those permitted.

Because of the many ways food ingredients can be combined, it is not practical to specify the composition of all foods and generally, for foods not listed in the food Standards Code they may contain any approved colouring, flavouring, and texture modifying additives. Processed foods containing food additives must declare them on the label either by name or number. Most approved food additives have been allocated a number in the Food Standards Code which allows the specific additive to be identified. For example, the designation on a product's label of 'colour (102)' means that the food contains the yellow colouring tartrazine.

Under certain circumstances it is possible that an additive present in a food which is used as an ingredient in the preparation of another food will 'carry-over' without being declared in the ingredient list on the label. For example, if margarine is used in the preparation of a cake, margarine will appear in the ingredient list rather than the individual components of margarine. If you must avoid particular food additives, you should consult the Food Standards Code to be aware of additives that can be present under these circumstances.