If you are trying to avoid preservatives in your diet, it is essential to learn how to identify them. Food manufacturers have an array of preservatives and additives that they add to foods for a host of reasons. Many times, food preservatives are commonly added to slow or prevent undesirable spoilage, discoloration, flavor loss, bacterial growth and mold or microbial growth.  Although many preservatives have gotten a bad reputation, they do keep our foods safe from very harmful bacteria like botulism.  Read labels carefully and work towards being an informed consumer so you can avoid foods or food products with preservatives you don't want to consume.
Any number of additive trials can be performed. Some additives have specific effects to watch out for – such as ribonucleotides (E627, E631, E635) which tend to cause rashes (“ribo rash”), or aspartame (E951) which tends to have MSG-like effects and cause depression. Additives not on the problem list are less likely to be problematic, however some other additives not in this list have been shown to have adverse effects on people. Splenda (sucralose, E955) can cause rashes especially in the chlorine sensitive, and sugar alcohols or polyols (E420, E421, E953, E965-E968, E1100) tend to cause digestive distress.
Food additives: Artificial colours: (food dyes, artificial colors) tartrazine 102 (E102, FD&C Yellow ), quinoline yellow 104 (E104), sunset yellow 110 (E110, FD&C Yellow ), azorubine, carmoisine 122 (E122), amaranth 123 (E123), ponceau, brilliant scarlet 124 (E124), erythrosine 127 (E127, FD&C Red ), allura red 129 (E129, FD&C Red ), indigotine, indigo carmine 132 (E132, FD&C Blue ), brilliant blue 133 (E133, FD&C Blue ), green S, food green, acid brilliant green 142 (E142), fast green FCF 143 (E143, FD&C Green ), brilliant black 151 (E151), brown, chocolate brown 155 (E155) Natural colours : (colors) Annatto (annatto extracts, bixin, norbixin, 160b, E160b) Preservatives: Sorbates: (sorbic acid 200, E200, sodium sorbate 201, E201, potassium sorbate 202, E202, calcium sorbate 203, E203) Benzoates, hydroxybenzoates, parabens: (including benzoic acid 210, E210, sodium benzoate 211, E211, potassium benzoate 212, E212, calcium benzoate 213, E213, ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate 214, E214, sodium ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate 215, E215, propylparaben 216, E216, propyl 4 hydroxybenzoate 217, E217, methylparaben 218, E218) Sulfites, bisulfites, metabisulfites: (200-228, sulphites, sulphur dioxide, sulfur dioxide 220, E220, sodium sulphite 221, E221, sodium bisulphite 222, E222, sodium metabisulphite 223, E223, potassium metabisulphite 224, E224, potassium sulphite 225, E225, calcium sulphite 226, E226, calcium bisulfite 227, E227, potassium bisulphite 228, E228) Nitrates & nitrites: (249-252, potassium nitrite 249, E249, sodium nitrite 250, E250, sodium nitrate 251, E251, potassium nitrate 252, E252 Propionates: (bread preservative, mould inhibitor 280-283: propionic acid 280, E280, sodium propionate 281, E281, calcium propionate 282, E282, potassium propionate 283, E283, 'natural' preservatives in bread, cultured wheat, cultured dextrose, cultured whey) Synthetic antioxidants: Gallates 310, 311, 312 (E310, E311, E312), tBHQ 319, E319, BHA 320, E320, BHT 321, E321 Flavour enhancers: (flavor enhancers) glutamic acid and all glutamates, MSG monosodium glutamate 620-625 , yeast extract, hydrolysed vegetable protein HVP , disodium guanylate 627 (E627, DSG, GMP), disodium inosinate 631 (E631, DSI, IMP), ribonucleotides 635 (E635, I&G, nucleotides) Flavours: (flavors) Natural food chemicals: Salicylates: salicylic acid, sodium salicylate, acetylsalicylic acid Biogenic amines: vasoactive amines (tyramine, phenylethylamine, histamine and others) Glutamates: Natural foods: Dairy: milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter, lactose-free milks Wheat or Gluten: (wheat, rye, barley, oats) Soy: Sugar free sweeteners: Sugar free sweeteners: polyols, sorbitol, mannitol