Aldi to rid their products of food colours linked to hyperactivity

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 11th June 2009

Discount grocer Aldi has announced it will reformulate all its private label food items to remove the six food colours which were linked to hyperactivity in children by a UK study in 2007.

The six colours, [sunset yellow (E110), quinoline yellow (E104), carmoisine (E122), allura red (E129), tartrazine (E102) and ponceau 4R (E124)], have been under fire ever since the late-2007 ‘Southampton Study’ which found that a mix of one of the six food additives with the preservative sodium benzoate could lead to increased hyperactivity in children.

The Food Intolerance Network last year sent a letter to FSANZ requesting a ban on the additives in Australia, but FSANZ has since advised that, given they are found in lower quantities in Australian food, the study is not particularly relevant.

Following the study, the UK Food Standards Agency has been requesting a voluntary ban by food manufacturers and has been posting the names of the companies that have complied to the request on their website.

Michael Kloeters, Group Managing Director Aldi Stores, said Aldi was taking a proactive approach based on findings in the Southampton study.

“We chose not to wait for it to be legislated in Australia as we believe the findings are enough to demonstrate it is the right thing to do,” he said. “We are reformulating all ALDI foods containing these six food colours and either replacing with natural alternatives, or not adding anything at all.

The company, whose product make-up is largely private label, also said they were attempting to rid their products of another eight additives.

“We are in the process of removing, wherever possible, a further eight artificial food colours used in Australian food manufacturing, as well as a number of preservatives which have been identified as ‘undesirable’,” Mr Kloeters advised.

The process will be completed by the end of 2009.

More information about the details of the Southampton Study can be found at: