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Severe Side Effects of Preservatives in Food

Severe Side Effects of Preservatives in Food
Severe Side Effects of Preservatives in Food
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We are in such an era of progress, where we do not even have to eat food. In such a grim scenario, when it comes to cooking food, most of us prefer canned or stored food, despite knowing about the ill-effects of preservatives used in those.

Be it about food cooked in a hotel or home, bread or Indian Chappati, vegetables or pickles, preservatives can be found in each and everything. In order to keep the food durable for extended days, preservatives are added. Preservatives are found in both synthetic and natural forms. The biggest difference between natural and synthetic preservatives is that natural preservatives cause no harm to our body. On the contrary, preservatives found in synthetic form are responsible for many minor (headaches) and severe (cancer) problems. In this article, we will talk about the severe side effects of preservatives in the food.

List of Harmful Preservatives


Sodium Benzoate, Potassium benzoate, E211, and E212 are used as preservatives used in flour, margarine, fruit purée, fruit juices, beer, etc. You probably don’t know, but the use of this preservative can cause allergies and brain damage.

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Potassium Bromate, E924 are the most common preservatives in flour and bread. As Potassium Bromate and E 924, it is the most common preservative found in flour and bread. In fact, many of us eat these things on the daily basis. For you information, bromates not only destroy nutrients but is the biggest reason behind diarrhea too.

3Butylhydroxyanisole and butylhydroxytoluene

BHA, BHT-E320, and E321, the three are synthetic antioxidants. BHA and BHT are commonly used in meat products, baked foods, snacks, and beer. However, it is not possible to determine whether these can cause any damage to humans, but their consumption remains a threat.

4Mono and Di-Glycerides

These are used in foods like canned vegetables, margarine, cake or bread, to keep them eatable for longer periods of time. Be it a kid or an adult, the side-effects can be as severe as cancer.

5Propyl Gallate

This is a preservative used in meat products, products containing vegetables, oils, chewing gum, etc. It can cause liver problems.


Sodium bisulfite, E222 or sodium metabisulfite, sodium disulfite, E223 are the most commonly used preservatives for dried fruits, preserved olives, pepper, corn or wine syrup. They can be responsible for headaches, joint pains, palpitations, allergies and in worst cases, even cancer.

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7Sodium Nitrate

This is mainly used in salted meat products and canned meat. This preservative is responsible for causing stomach cancer. This is the reason, use of sodium nitrate as a preservative in any eatable is a crime in many countries.

8Citric Acid

The citric acid that is artificially produced using sulfuric acid, can cause asthma attacks and allergic reactions. However, natural citric acid can be considered a preservative without side effects.


E466 is a stabilizer that is used predominantly in salad dressings, creams, and chocolate milk and can cause digestive disorders such as vomiting, indigestion, abdominal colic.


This preservative is used to conserve dried fruits, canned fruits, corn syrup, peppers, preserved olives, wine, and vinegar. In terms of side-effects, use of sulfites can be responsible for palpitations, allergic reactions such as asthma and rhinitis. Sulfites also induce joint pain, headaches, and can even cause cancer in some cases.

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11Bromine Oils

These oils are used to keep bottled juice durable for long periods. Despite knowing that bromate juice can trigger changes in cardiac tissues, kidney damage, thyroid, fat deposits in the liver and damage to testicles, this juice is used fairly and widely. However, there are countries, where using brominated oils is banned for bottled beverages.

12Mono-Glycerides and Diglycerides

These preservatives are generally used in foods like stored cakes, pies, cookies, bread, and peanut butter. But do you know that monoglycerides regularly feature on the list of bad and unhealthy fats?

13Sodium Nitrate

This is another harmful food preservative used to preserve the meat. Sodium nitrate is added to most processed meat like bacon, ham, and sausage. This nitric acid is quite dangerous for the body and can lead to stomach cancer. Many countries have already imposed a ban on the use of sodium nitrate as a preservative.

Do You Have A Confusion? Ask An Expert

These food preservatives increase the shelf life of food in grocery stores, but the effects of preservatives on human health vary.

Now that you know about the harmful effects of food preservation and their names, do not forget to carefully check these ingredients when shopping for processed foods.