closed (coded) date


see product dating

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Label Decoder: Sulfites

If you’re a wine drinker, you’ve probably seen the word sulfite listed on most wine bottles. Find out why they’re used in most wines and if wine-lovers should find a new drink?

Label Decoder: Pectin

You’ve seen it on hundreds of labels and may have even used it in your own kitchen—learn all the need-to-know facts about this additive.

Label Decoder: Lecithin

You can find lecithin in food and in supplements, but what is it and is it good for you? Find out more about this added ingredient and how it’s used in the processing plant.

Label Decoder: Olestra

When I was in graduate school, some of my fellow dietetic students tracked down one of the first stores where the nonfat fried chips were being sold. The employee that answered the phone explained how he’d downed an entire package and had a horrible stomach ache (though he was a bit more descriptive of his symptoms). From that day on, I knew chips fried in Olestra weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

Label Decoder: Diacetyl

Before you pop your next bag of microwave popcorn, find out more about an additive used in some brands.

Decoding Meat Labels

The 9 things you need to know when you’re at the grocery store or butcher.

Label Decoder: Carrageenan

This ingredient is found in foods like ice cream, jelly and even infant formula. Find out what it does and if it’s safe to eat.

Label Decoder: Sodium Benzoate

Many ingredients listed on food labels might as well be in a foreign language. You see the same ones pop up all the time, but do you know what they really mean? In this new series, we're tackling some common label names -- some are perfectly fine for you, others not so much. First up: sodium benzoate.