More food than ever claimed to be additive freeFigure has risen to one in four

19 September 2007

An unprecedented number of additive-free food and drinks are hitting shop shelves, market research out today shows.

One in every four products launched this year claims to be "additive and preservative free".

This compares to just 8% of new food and drinks in 2004, according to figures from Mintel's global new products database.

So far this year nearly 1,000 items claiming to be additive-free have hit supermarket shelves.

This compares to just 800 items during the whole of 2006, monitoring showed.

Natural lifestyle

Mintel spokesman David Jago said: 'Manufacturers are tapping into the nation's growing desire for a more natural lifestyle, as consumers take a greater interest in what really goes into their food.'

Last year the phrase "additive and preservative free" overtook "low fat" to become the most frequently used health claim on food and drink products.

That trend looks set to continue this year, Mintel predicted.

The Food Standards Agency changed its advice to parents earlier this month after Southampton University researchers found potential links between a group of seven E numbers and hyperactivity in children.

Hyperactivity

Youngsters showing signs of hyperactivity should avoid the seven additives, the watchdog says.

The Food Standards Agency's board will discuss the issue at its meeting in London today.

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