Shocking differences between ingredients in Us and UK food

Blogger reveals the shocking differences in ingredients between American and British food including M&Ms, porridge and ketchup that are laden with E-numbers in the US

  • Vani Hari, who goes by the moniker The Food Babe online, showed the differences between common goods sold on both sides of the Atlantic 
  • The ‘healthy living activist’ points out E-numbers in US products absent in the UK
  •  Her graphics have been picked up by TikTok users who have also shown which US products are banned internationally

A food blogger has revealed the shocking differences between ingredients lists in UK and US, foods, showing how American items are laden with artificial flavourings and E-numbers that are banned elsewhere.

Vani Hari, who goes by the moniker The Food Babe online, showed the differences between common goods sold on both sides of the Atlantic, including Kellogs Frosties, Heinz Ketchup, and Cadbury’s Creme Eggs.

The influencer, 41, from North Carolina, who has more than 450,000 followers on Instagram describes herself as a ‘healthy living activist’ and shocks her followers by showing how the likes of preservative BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and artificial colouring in US products.

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A food blogger has revealed the shocking differences between ingredients lists in the same foods in the UK and US, showing how American foods are laden with artificial flavourings and e-numbers that are banned elsewhere. Pictured US vs UK Twix


Vani Hari, who goes by the moniker The Food Babe online, showed the differences between common goods sold on both sides of the Atlantic, including Kellogs Frosties, Heinz Ketchup, Creme Eggs and M&Ms (pictured)

While the list of British Twix seems fairly standard, with sugar, cocoa butter, and milk among the ingredients the US version are polyglycerol polyricinoleate and articifical flavours. 

Meanwhile, British M&Ms only have one E-number, Blue 1, while the US version has more than ten, and also contains cornstarch,  corn syrup and gum acacia. 

Even McDonald’s, known for its uniformity across the world, features in the lists.

McDonald’s fries in the US contain hydrogenated oil, while the UK’s features non-hydrogenated oil. 

Hydrogenated vegetable oil, or hydrogenated fat comes when artificial trans fats are formed during a food process called hydrogenation, which turns liquid oil into solid fat.

Studies have shown high levels of the hydrogenated fat can upset the balance between good and bad cholesterol in the  body.   


Even McDonalds, known for its uniformity across the world, features. The fries in the US contain hydrogenated oil, while the UK’s features non-hydrogenated oil.


The influencer, 41, from North Carolina, who has more than 450,000 followers on Instagram describes herself as a ‘healthy living activist’ and shocks her followers showing the likes of preservative BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and artificial colouring in US products. Pictured: US Frosties with BHT (left) and UK without (right) 

‘Although artificial dyes are common in America, that doesn’t make them safe to eat,’ Vani said in a caption of one picture.

She explained that in the EU and the UK, food companies are required to include warning labels if they use artificial dyes – hence many opt not to use them.   

‘That’s one reason the UK version is so different, she added. 

‘Companies don’t want to slap warnings all over food packages because that wouldn’t be good for business. To make matters worse, they add high fructose corn syrup, cellulose gum, and artificial preservatives to the US version. 

She believes that US companies continue to sell the artificial ingredient-laden products because they’re ‘cheaper to produce’ and ‘they can get away with it’. 


UK Twix and Milkyway (right) has natural vanilla extract’  instead of the ‘artificial flavors’ in the American version (left)

In one example, she calls out the way Red 40 is used in the production of Doritos in America. 

Red 40 is a ‘certified colour that comes from petroleum distillates or coal tars’ and The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that it has to be listed by name on food and product labels.  

Vani’s graphics have also been picked up by TikTok users – who are equally shocked at the chemical-laden products. 


Yikes! A packet of Doritos sold in America, left, is shown to contain controversial chemical compounds like ‘Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellow 5’ – but they aren’t used on the UK version 

Corey Ewings, from San Diego, posted a video showing the long list of ingredients in American strawberry and cream porridge oats and the British version sold by the same company.

In the US, the ingredients include sugar, maltodextrin sodium caseinate, red 40, salt, gum and artificial colouring.

Meanwhile, the UK version is much more simple, featuring wholegrain oats, freeze dried raspberries and natural flavourings.

‘Okay, I have one simple question, America, what are we doing?’ Corey asks in the clip.

‘One of my followers asked me to look up the difference between oatmeal in the UK and the US,’ he explains. 


Culpit: Red 40 once again appears on the label of Quaker’s Strawberries & Cream Instant Oatmeal when it is manufactured Stateside, left 

‘I might not be the smartest person in the world, but I can read a little bit.

‘Let’s go over the UK, wholegrain rolled oats, sugar, dried raspberries, dried strawberries, natural flavouring. That’s it.’

He then turns to the US version and jokes ‘like I said, I can read, but I don’t know what any of this means.

‘Maltodextrin sodium caseinate, red 40, that sounds scary. Can someone smarter than me please tell me why we need so many extra ingredients?  

Vani’s graphics have also been picked up by TikTok users – who are equally shocked at the chemical-laden products.

TikTok users have shared their shock at the number of E-numbers and chemicals in US prodcut

‘There’s plenty of examples too. Are we just test dummies? What’s going on?’

He then points to a graphic made by Vani Har an activist who goes by Food Babe.

In other videos Corey has discussed US  food banned in other countries including US beef that’s been hormone treated, chlorinated chicken, Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls and Kellogs Frosted Flakes.

He also mentions Skittles, which are banned in Norway and Sweden, farm raised salmon, which is banned in Australia and New Zealand and even some milks, bread, and Mountain Dew. 

In another video, he compares McDonald’s Fries in the UK and the US, showing how the American version is laden view  hydronaganated vegetable oil which isn’t in the British version.  


Chocolate surprise: A comparison shows the use of artificial Yellow 6 in Creme Eggs sold in the U.S., whereas in Britain paprika extract is used


Complicated: In America, Heinz’ classic tomato ketchup appears to have more convoluted ingredients compared to its British counterpart, right


Tartrazine: While Mountain Dew sold to British soda lovers contains coloring derived from beta carotene, Yellow 5 aka Tartrazine is used by Pepsi Co in the U.S., left

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