Food Additives Museum Hidden and Mysterious, Just Like in Our Food

Big Food and Big Chemical would never permit this museum in the U.S.  They would have to devote an entire wing just to their secret “mystery additives”.


German Food Additives Museum

A fascinating little museum dedicated to the thousands of chemical substances concealed in our food.

Tucked away inside an unwelcoming-looking wholesale market in Hamburg, the German Food Additives Museum (Deutsches Zusatzstoffmuseum) is nearly as well hidden as the topic it covers.  This fascinating little museum is dedicated to the thousands of different chemical substances lurking in the foods we eat on a daily basis.

For better or worse (and quite often, worse) a plethora of additives—emulsifiers, stabilizers, dyes, thickeners, sweeteners, preservatives, flavorings, and so on—are concealed in our meals. Yet the average consumer knows very little about what these chemical powders and liquids are, or how they’re used.

The Food Additives museum shines a light on these mysteries. At this informative museum you can find out why we eat so much sawdust, see how much cheaper it is to use flavorings rather than the ingredients you’d use at home…

The museum was founded in 2008 by the Hamburg Food Foundation (overseen by a pair of German food scientists) to educate people about the different kinds of additives, their purposes, production process, and any risks and side effects. The museum also gets into why so many of the additives that food producers are permitted to use don’t have to be declared, even in some organic food products…


It is located in a wholesale market that’s closed to the public most of the time. To gain entry you need you approach an imposing gateway that seems to suggest you are not welcome at it. Then you ring a buzzer to the museum on the wall to be let through a turnstile. At that point you’re free to walk through the wholesale market area to the museum.  If you’re lucky a security guard will cycle up to you to ask what you are doing.


Photo: Landthrill