Dengate 2002: Controlled trial of cumulative behavioural effects of a common bread preservative

CalciumPropionateJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2002. Aug;38(4):373-6

In Australia, 27 children whose behavior had improved on the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital diet were enrolled in a double-blind placebo-controlled test of the bread preservative calcium propionate (preservative code 282).  More than half of them reacted to the preservative.

CONCLUSION:  “Irritability, restlessness, inattention and sleep disturbance in some children may be caused by a preservative in healthy foods consumed daily.”


  1. Minimize the preservative amounts used to reduce adverse reactions.
  2. Test additives for behavioral toxicity during food safety evaluation.

NOTE:  The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital diet (also called FAILSAFE) is similar to the Feingold Diet but more stringent; it excludes food additives, natural salicylates (more of them than Feingold excludes), amines and glutamates.

NOTE: Calcium proprionate is used more heavily in bread in Australia than it is in the US. The Feingold Diet does not eliminate it, but products containing it are marked with “(CP)” in the Foodlist for those members who must, or prefer, to avoid it.

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