List of "E" Numbers and Additives

GeneralNutrients_List_of_E_ingredients_and_additives

 

Have you ever wondered just how much additives one must add in order to increase goods shelf life? If you would read the back side (description) of any product you will find bunch of hard to pronounce words. In most cases an average person has no clue what certain ingredient stands for. 

Pro tip: signs like 'natural', 'organic/farm' or 'bio' - carry no liability for the quality of the goods you are buying. So please read very carefully the description part on the back side of every product, after all we are what we are consuming.

Let's get deeper into details and learn what E numbers are, and how safe or unsafe they potentially could become in the long-term.

What food additives are?

Additives are substances used for a variety of reasons - such as preservation, colouring, sweetening, etc. - during the preparation of food. The European Union legislation defines them as "any substance not normally consumed as a food in itself and not normally used as a characteristic ingredient of food, whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional addition of which to food for a technological purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packaging, transport or storage of such food results, or may be reasonably expected to result, in it or its by-products becoming directly or indirectly a component of such foods."

What is an E number?

E numbers are codes for substances that are permitted to be used as food additives for use within the European Union and EFTA (European Free Trade Association). The "E" stands for "Europe". Commonly found on food labels, their safety assessment and approval are the responsibility of the European Food Safety Authority.

E numbers are classified as following:

  • E100–E199 (colours)
  • E200–E299 (preservatives)
  • E300–E399 (antioxidants, acidity regulators)
  • E400–E499 (thickeners, stabilisers, emulsifiers)
  • E500–E599 (acidity regulators, anti-caking agents)
  • E600–E699 (flavour enhancer)
  • E700–E799 (antibiotics)
  • E900–E999 (glazing agents, gases and sweeteners)
  • E1000–E1599 (additional additives)

What are additives used for?

Additives can be used for various purposes. EU legislation defines 26 "technological purposes." Additives are used, among other things, as:

  • Colours – they are used to add or restore colour in a food

  • Preservatives – these are added to prolong the shelf-life of foods by protecting them against micro-organisms;

  • Antioxidants – they are substances, which prolong the shelf-life of foods by protecting them against oxidation (i.e. fat rancidity and colour changes)

  • Flour treatment agents – they are added to flour or to dough to improve its baking quality.

Are food additives safe?

The safety of all food additives that are currently authorised has been assessed by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) and/or the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Only additives for which the proposed uses were considered safe are on the EU list.

As most of the evaluations date back to the 80's and 90's, some even to the 70's, it is only appropriate to re-evaluate all authorised additives by EFSA. The re-evaluation will be completed by 2020. Based on the advice of EFSA the Commission may propose a revision of the current conditions of use of the additives and if needed remove an additive from the list.

As a result of the re-evaluation programme, so far the use of three food colours has been revised because EFSA decreased their acceptable daily intake (ADI) and considered that human exposure to these colours is likely to be too high. Therefore, the maximum levels of these colours that can be used in food will be lowered in early 2012. This reference concerns E 104 Quinoline yellow, E 110 Sunset Yellow and E 124 Ponceau 4R.

List of E numbers

Bellow is a list of all known E numbers. Some are considered to be safe, some are potentially unsafe, some should be avoided at any cost, and some have unknown effects on human body. We marked them with respectful colours for better navigation. 

Full list is pretty long (trust us on this), so make sure to write down the ones you see on the labels most often. 

NB! Full list is available exclusively for subscribers only.

E100Curcumins

Impact on the body:
- animal genes damage
- possible risk to conception and cancer
JECFA still evaluating re reproductive toxicity.
Allowed in: EU, Australia, Russia, Canada, US

E101 - Riboflavins

Impact on the body:
- no data
Allowed in: EU, Australia, Russia, Canada, US

E102 - Tartrazine

Impact on the body:
- occurrence of cancer tumors
- asthma and shortness of breath
- anaphylactic shock
- DNA mutations
- allergic reactions
- salicylate sensitivity
Allowed in: EU, Australia, Russia, Canada, US

E103 - Alkanet

Impact on the body:
- hyperactivity in children
Allowed in: Australia, Canada
Banned in: EU, Russia

E104 - Quinoline yellow

Impact on the body:
- hyperactivity in children
- allergic reactions
- asthma and shortness of breath
blocking / releasing histamine
Allowed in: EU, Russia, Australia
Banned in: Canada, US

E105 - Fast Yellow AB

Impact on the body:
- hyperactivity in children
- salicylate sensitivity
- asthma and shortness of breath
blocking / releasing histamine
Banned in: EU, Australia, Russia, Canada

E106 - Flavin mononucleotide sodium salt

Impact on the body:
- no data
Banned in: EU, Australia, Russia, Canada

E107 - Yellow 2G

Impact on the body:
- hyperactivity in children
- salicylate sensitivity
- asthma and shortness of breath
blocking / releasing histamine

Banned in: EU, Australia, Russia, Canada

E110 - Sunset yellow FCF

Impact on the body:
- hyperactivity in children
- allergic reactions
- asthma and shortness of breath
blocking / releasing histamine
- salicylate sensitivity
- occurrence of cancer tumors
- DNA mutations

Allowed in: EU, Australia, Russia, Canada, US

E120 - Carmines

Impact on the body:
- hyperactivity in children
- allergic reactions
- asthma and shortness of breath
salicylate sensitivity
- anaphylactic shock

Allowed in: EU, Australia, Russia, Canada, US

E121 - Citrus red No. 2

Impact on the body:
- no data

Allowed in: Canada, US (only for use in colouring the skin of oranges)
Banned inEU, Australia, Russia 

E122 - Azorubine (Carmoisine)

Impact on the body:
- hyperactivity in children
- allergic reactions
- asthma and shortness of breath
blocking / releasing histamine
- salicylate sensitivity
- occurrence of cancer tumors
- DNA mutations

Allowed in: EU, Australia, Russia, US
Banned in: Canada

E123 - Amaranth

Impact on the body:
- hyperactivity in children
- asthma and shortness of breath
blocking / releasing histamine
- salicylate sensitivity
- occurrence of cancer tumors
- DNA mutations

Allowed in: EU, Australia, Canada
Banned in: Russia, US

 

Subscribe and receive your full FREE "E" Numbers and Additives PDF Report, and never feel unaware of what you are consuming ever again.