Unknown Food Ingredients? There’s an App for That!

There are more than 1,500 food additives and ingredients listed in the Don’t Eat That iPhone app ($1.99). This is a handy app to have with you at the grocery store. Ingredients that are listed in red are ones that you might have a concern with. Those listed in black are generally considered natural and safe.

I downloaded the app and pulled out a couple of foods from my cabinet. The package of crackers that I pulled out has a few ingredients that are questionable. Take the soy lecithin in the crackers for example. It is listed in red. According to the app it’s an emulsifier that blends two or more liquids that normally would not mix. It’s chemically derived from soybeans using hexane. Chances are the soybeans are genetically modified. Any ingredients that could be genetically modified seem to automatically get listed in red.

The tocopheral listed on a package of all-natural cereal that I pulled out is listed in black. It’s the only ingredient on the cereal that was foreign to me. Turns out, it’s a form of Vitamin E and it’s used as a preservative.

I really like this simple app. It’s one more tool I have to help me decide what to feed my family.

In addition to an alphabetical list of all ingredients in the app, there are also several useful categories that can be searched.

  • Problem Ingredients
  • Harmful to Kids
  • Banned Ingredients (those that have been banned in other countries)
  • Carcinogens
  • Genetically Modified
  • Allergies
  • Asthma


The creators of Don’t Eat That took their information from sources like the FDA, The European Food Safety Agency, The American Cancer Society, The World Health Organization and other reputable organizations.They’ve also produced a short video to show users how to navigate the app:

By Robin Shreeves, MNN


Shanti S.
S S5 years ago

Thank you.

Bernadette P.
berny p6 years ago

Thanks for creating this!

Bernadette P.
berny p6 years ago

If you dont have an I phone how do you get the list?

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M7 years ago

Thanks for this post Megan. I don't have an iphone, but both daughters do...so I am going to pass the information of this app on to them.
They both have allergies and are very food aware.

Elizabeth P.
Elizabeth P7 years ago

I love learning new things!

Jux C.
Past Member 7 years ago

Takes a little longer to do the shopping when you're wondering about all these ingredients hey?

Steven Jones
Steven Jones7 years ago

That's a great app. Anyone know if there is a free version?

Ambrose Merly
Past Member 8 years ago


Robert Taylor
Robbie Taylor8 years ago

Verizon, when will you get the Iphone?! Oh when?!

Great article for what seems like a great app.

Linda M.
Linda M8 years ago