On food labels, we can often read unfamiliar abbreviations and unusual names of ingredients. Some of these can be very dangerous.

Here are a few you should avoid having on your dining table:


Monosodium glutamate (MSG) or E621 is a flavor enhancer that is most commonly found in industrial products such as instant soups and meat products.

Although over decades of use in the food industry, it has not been proven to have a detrimental effect on health, there are indications that the consumption of foods that contain it can cause symptoms such as headaches and nausea.


Artificial sweeteners are, due to lack of energy value and intense sweetness, now ubiquitous in the market in many food products. Their application can have a positive impact on people who are on reduction diets and people with diabetes.

However, some artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame (E951), are, due to the potentially harmful effects on the health, a subject of numerous studies, but for many there is no scientific evidence of harm, and their use in the food industry is very widespread.

Trans-fatty acids

They are formed by partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils. Product labels where the trans-fatty acids are found in one of the top three places in the list of ingredients generally contain higher amounts thereof.

They increase the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol, which contributes to the risk of heart disease.

Nitrites and nitrates

Nitrites and nitrates are preservatives which are used mainly in the production of cured meats, cheese and salt fish.

They disturb the transport of oxygen in the blood in the organism, therefore it is recommended you avoid products that contain them. Children are particularly sensitive to these.

E102 and E123

The use of artificial colorings such as tartrazine (E102) and amaranth (E123) is banned in some countries because it is thought to cause various health problems.

When choosing products, preference should always be given to natural colors such as paprika extract (E160c) and turmeric (E100).