I started to react about 18 months ago. My skin felt like it was on fire and the itch was unbearable. The 'welts' that raised on my body, where any restrictive clothing touched my skin, including bras, panties, shirt stitching etc... would remain for days, even weeks depending on how severe the attack was. I tried everything to find the cause and find a cure. It was only when reading an article in the Herald Sun that I realised the woman was recanting exactly how I reacted. She told of her allergic reaction to 635. I used to have Continental chicken noodle soup every single day, at work. (Summer or winter). I loved the stuff. I also ate Lays flavoured chips, packet gravy.

I have since eliminated everything with 635 in it out of my diet. Although I still have 'flare' ups I can actually work these back to pre-prepared food...Dolmino spaghetti sauces etc...I found that I cannot have any food with 621, 625, 627 or 631. I react to all of these, and was wondering if any one who has had a severe reaction to 635 finds they react to these others as well. I have recently learned that 635 is a combination of 627 and 631. Foods to avoid like the plague are:

Red Rooster both chicken and chips

KFC both as above

Mac Donalds - I only ever ate their chips but flavour enhancer is in the salt.

All flavoured corn chips, CC's Doritos...Pretzels with added flavour. (Cracked pepper have no flavour enhancers listed)

Maggi packet gravy

San Remo pasta and sauce sachets

Continental chicken stock

All stock cubes

I have recently been told that some foods may have flavour enhancers added but do not have to list them because the percentage is so low.

In fact if the word flavour is on the label I will not purchase that product now for fear of it causing another reaction. My doctor did not know what was wrong with me when I saw him about my rash months ago. He gave me Periactin, an over-the-counter antihistamine that works well, although I have had to half the tablets because they also make me extremely drowsy.

If any one needs proof that these flavour 'enhancers' are reactionary I would be happy to prove it. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see the cause and affect of these additives. I have had to restrict my diet, to avoid coming into contact with these 'poisons', because that is what they are to me. I am basically going through detox/withdrawals at the moment, which are causing headaches etc...

If the Food Standards people want to try to 'fob' this off, perhaps we who are suffering should take them to court for compensation - you know pain and suffering - because believe me, we are suffering. At 38, and having suffered for almost 2years with this, I can't imagine what it must be like for the little kids who react as we have! – Melanie, email.