Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 Nov 2011 ; Partial revision Aug 2020

Allergy diet - additive low

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To provide a diet that excludes foods containing artificial colours, certain natural colours, flavour enhancers and preservatives.


Avoids the following additives:


  • 102 (tartrazine)
  • 107 (yellow 2G)
  • 110 (sunset yellow FCF)
  • 122 (carmoisine)
  • 123 (amaranth)
  • 124 (ponceau 4R)
  • 127 (erythrosine)
  • E128 (red 2G)
  • 129 (allura red AC)
  • 132 (indigotine)
  • 133 (brilliant blue FCF)
  • 142 (green S)
  • 150d (caramel 1V)
  • 151 (brilliant black PN)
  • 155 (brown HT)
  • 160b (annatto extracts)
  • 160c (capsanthin/paprika extract).

Flavour enhancers

  • 630–635 (various inosinate and ribonucleotide salts)
  • 620 - 625 (various glutamate salts)


  • sorbic acid (200–203)
  • benzoic acid (210–213, 216, 218)
  • sulphites (220–24, 225, 228)
  • propionate (280–283)
  • nitrite / nitrate (249–252)
  • antioxidants (310–321)

Note: The following colours are permitted: 100 (curcumin or turmeric), 150 (caramel), 160a (carotene).


Intolerance to additives, established by a medically supervised placebo-controlled challenge.

Nutritional adequacy

Nutritionally adequate.


It is not possible to provide a full list of all permitted commercial products; the following are general guidelines only. The ingredient lists of processed foods must be carefully and regularly scrutinised. Potatoes purchased peeled (or in commercial products such as dried mixes) and dried fruits typically have added preservatives to prevent discolouration. If a product lists an ingredient as flavour, without a detailed additive description or code, the product should not be used in this diet. Particular care is needed in food handling and preparation to avoid cross-contamination.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed - but check labels Not allowed - but check labels
Hot main dishes

All plain cooked meat, poultry, fish, eggs

Note: Some plain meat and poultry for roasting may have added flavour enhancers - check labels

Casserole dishes made with commercial stocks and flavour enhancers, or wine

Processed meats (eg ham, silverside, bacon, sausages); meat pies Items containing cheese, potato, breadcrumbs or dried fruit (eg macaroni cheese, quiche, crumbed fish)

Sauces, gravies Plain white sauce (made from flour, butter and milk only) Gravies, tomato sauce
Starchy vegetables / pasta / rice All plain fresh potato, pasta and plain rice, cooked without margarine Any potato purchased pre-peeled (eg frozen french fries) Commercial savoury rice
Vegetables All others Vegetables in white sauce or with cheese (eg cauliflower au gratin)
Soups Most commercial soups have flavour enhancers – check label Pumpkin, tomato, vegetable, chicken noodle – check label
Sandwiches None All
Salads, dressings

Most salad ingredients

Plain salad dressing (oil and vinegar) and mayonnaise – check labels (many vinegars have preservatives)

Processed meats (eg ham, silverside, chicken roll)

Commercial salad dressings

Chutneys and relish

Breads, cereals

Breads labelled preservative free. Confirm vinegar as an ingredient is sulphite free.

Rice cakes

Most plain breakfast cereals without added fruit or nuts (eg Weet-Bix™, rolled oats, Corn Flakes®, Rice Bubbles®)

Bread crumbs

Most commercial breads have added preservatives

Cereals with added fruit – check label



Honey, marmalade, peanut butter

Most jams – check label

Most margarines


Jams with added colours

Hot breakfast choices

All others

Sausages, bacon, ham
Fruit All fresh fruit and most canned fruits

Some canned fruit salads – check label

Dried fruit, prunes and commercial fresh fruit salads – check label


Plain yoghurt

Note: Some fruit yoghurts may not have added colours – check label

Flavoured and fruit yoghurt

Custard made without added colours

Ice-cream, puddings, cheesecake, creamy rice – check label


Most commercial soft custards, toppings, mousses

Fruit cake


Milk and cheese

All plain milk

Plain cheddar-style cheeses

Flavoured milk, milkshakes

Parmesan, camembert, blue vein, cottage and ricotta cheeses


Tea, coffee

Only tetra-pack juices and those without additives

Juice with non-permitted colours or preservatives added

Cordial and soft drink

BiscuitsPlain biscuits only if preservative free (eg Milk Coffee™) Most commercial biscuits


100% white vinegar created from molassess via microbial fermentation



All other vinegar


  1. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Food intolerance.
  2. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit. RPAH elimination diet handbook. Sydney: RPAH; 2010.
  3. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit. Allergy information sheets.
  4. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Choosing the right stuff: the official shoppers’ guide to food additives and labels, kilojoules and fat content. Sydney: Murdoch Books; 2007.
  5. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Benzoates, sulphites and sorbates in the food supply: report of the 21st Australian total diet study. 2005.
  6. Swain AR, Soutter VL, Loblay RH. Friendly food: the complete guide to avoiding allergies, additives and problem chemicals. Sydney: Murdoch Books; 2004.
  7. Swain, Anne; Soutter, Velencia; Loblay, Robert (2013). RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook with Food & Shopping Guide (PDF). ISBN 9780980616408.

Change log

August 2020

Section updatedChange
Specific menu planning guidelines - Breads/cereals In Allowed, added after Breads labelled preservative free. Confirm vinegar, as an ingredient, is sulphite free
In Allowed, added Bread crumbs
Specific menu planning guidelines - Miscellaneous In Allowed, added 100% white vinegar created from molassess via microbial fermentation
In Not Allowed, added All other vinegar
References Added Swain, Anne; Soutter, Valencia; Loblay Robert (2013). "RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook with Food & Shopping Guide" (PDF). ISBN 9780980616408
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