The Consumer’s Association has called for new rules for additives in food, such as sweeteners, colouring and flavourings to be clearly marked.

The CA claimed that consumers were being “hoodwinked” as a result of a confusing array of labels.

Food and Drink Federation deputy director general, Martin Paterson, has rejected the claims.

Paterson said: “Manufacturers often have to convey a lot of information to consumers on a very small label.

“Using a simple descriptor colour, plus a number, instead of a complex name, can reduce the length of the ingredients list and help consumers find what they’re looking for.”

Paterson noted that additive labelling was governed by the EU Labelling Directive, but that UK manufacturers were “always looking at the best way to provide product information within these constraints”.