3 Common Questions About Additives Answered

Posted on : December 30th, 2016

no food additivesFor those who choose to have a clean eating lifestyle, “additives” is a dirty word. For others, who are just becoming educated on this topic, there are a lot of questions regarding this issue, the most common being these: What are additives? Why are they used? Are additives bad for you? It can get confusing – there’s a lot of different information out there about what’s in America’s food, and whether or not we should worry.

At Maisie Jane’s, we don’t use additives. Our products are real food, and nothing else. We don’t need fillers, we don’t need preservatives, we can bring pure and healthy goodness to your table without using questionable ingredients.

The questions still remain: What are additives? Why are they used? Are additives bad for you? On the internet you will find contradictory information about the “extras,” especially in nut butters. Let’s set the record straight on additives – and why we don’t use them.

What are additives?

The FDA distinguishes between two definitions: one they paraphrase, and one they designate as the legal definition (they also include further explanation for the statement of the “Legal” definition).


“In its broadest sense, a food additive is any substance added to food.”

Legal definition:

“Legally, the term refers to ‘any substance the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result — directly or indirectly — in its becoming a component or otherwise affecting the characteristics of any food.’”

Further explanation for legal definition:

“This definition includes any substance used in the production, processing, treatment, packaging, transportation or storage of food. The purpose of the legal definition, however, is to impose a premarket approval requirement. Therefore, this definition excludes ingredients whose use is generally recognized as safe (where government approval is not needed), those ingredients approved for use by FDA or the U.S. Department of Agriculture prior to the food additives provisions of law, and color additives and pesticides where other legal premarket approval requirements apply.”

To summarize, the above definitions tell us an additive is added to food and listed on a product label only to meet a requirement, and not all additives are required to be listed. This is confusing. We know.

Why are additives used?

Why would a company add something to your food that isn’t technically considered food? Essentially an additive is something put in food to make it last longer, change its color, alter its flavor, manipulate its texture, and is not considered “food.”  For soda, additives give it color and extend the shelf life. Cereal uses additives to extend the shelf life, control the color, and keep the food’s shape. For those other nut butters, it makes the product taste better, last longer, and blend (or “emulsify”) the natural oil and nut meat together – separation of the natural oil from the thicker nut “meat” in a pure nut butter is actually very common and supposed to happen – emulsifier additives are used to bond the oil to the meat.

Why we don’t use additives in our products:

At Maisie Jane’s we have no desire to change the texture of our smooth, creamy, Organic Smooth Almond Butter. Why would we want to alter the taste of our fan-favorite Tamari Almonds? We are most certainly not interested in changing the color of our beautifully bright Organic Curry Spice Cashews. We don’t need to. The fundamental ingredients of our nut products don’t need any extra help with texture, flavor, color, etc. Furthermore, we don’t agree with using additives because if you start with quality ingredients, you don’t need to alter them.

We don’t use additives and our nut butters still have a 2 year shelf life. Our nuts have a shelf life of a year! Our products don’t need help to improve taste; we use varieties of nuts known for their incredible flavor. As for emulsifying, we’d rather stir our nut butters before dishing up than sell you unnecessary ingredients.

Are additives bad for you?

Additives in your nut products are not good for you. That being said, they won’t kill you (at least not right away). Additives won’t improve your health, weight loss, energy levels, or cellular rejuvenation. Some additives will actually degrade your body’s ability to regulate and/or achieve those things.

A closer look at nut butter additives you WON’T find at Maisie Jane’s:

  • Mono & Diglycerides. Mono and Di-glycerides are emulsifiers used in nut butters to keep the oil separating from the nut meat. The two are related to triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood stream very similar to cholesterol. What does this have to do with mono and di-glycerides? Mono- and diglycerides have one to two less fatty acids less than triglycerides. The difference is as simple as one, single, fatty acid. Additionally, mono- and diglycerides are classified as emulsifiers. This means these two compounds are not required to be included in the fat count on a nutrition label. They can still cause increased plaque build-up in your arteries, and they are still fat. They are simply fat in sheep’s clothing.
  • Hydrogenated/Partially Hydrogenated Oil. This is an unassuming way to say “trans-fat”. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils are trans-fat, and counted as such on a nutrition label. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated are liquid oils that were once full of healthy fats, but put through a chemical process (hydrogenation) to become solid. The hydrogenation strips the oil of any healthy fat it once had, leaving behind the remains of a chemical process that created the worst kind of fats you can put in your body: trans-fat and saturated fat. These fats are responsible for health issues like heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke.
  • Soy Lecithin. Ah, soy. The long-debated food with so many uses and a growing list of negative impacts. The condensed version: soy lecithin (not to be confused with soya lecithin) can disrupt your thyroid and endocrine functions, and can aggravate breast cancer in women. listed as Non-GMO, you are eating genetically modified soy.

No additives, no problem!

As you can see, additives are not something you’d eat if you had the option. The good news is, with Maisie Jane’s, you don’t need to worry about your food. You don’t need to wonder if it’s harmful. You don’t need to question quality and safety. All you need to do is find a brand you can trust. Find a brand that shares your values, and checking the ingredients will no longer be a time-consuming endeavor. We take responsibility of the health-conscious priorities so you don’t have to. At Maisie Jane’s you won’t find additives. You’ll find nuttin’ but pure, clean, safe, delicious ingredients!

Go to our online store right now to purchase your additive-free nut butter, then download the recipes below for delicious, nutritious ideas!

Almond Butter Recipes

Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products, Inc. was founded on strong beliefs and passion for offering unique, flavorful, top-quality, almond products. We strongly believe in earth-friendly practices that start on our family owned and operated orchards. We use Organic farming practices and continue in the process by using all natural ingredients with no preservatives or GMOs. We believe in honest, friendly, and helpful customer relations at all levels. We take pride in every task, every day, with every person.