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This article is about the food additive codes. For other uses, see E number (disambiguation). E numbers are number codes for food additives that have been assessed for use within the European Union (the "E" prefix stands for "Europe"). They are commonly found on food labels throughout the European Union. Safety assessment and approval are the responsibility of the European Food Safety Authority. The numbering scheme follows that of the International Numbering System (INS) as determined by the Codex Alimentarius committee though only a subset of the INS additives are approved for use in the European Union. E numbers are also encountered on food labelling in other jurisdictions, including the GCC, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. The "E" prefix is omitted in Australia and New Zealand. They are increasingly, though still rarely, found on North American packaging, especially in Canada on imported European products. In casual language in the UK and Ireland, "E number" is used as a pejorative term for artificial food additives, and products may promote themselves as "free of E numbers" even though most of the natural ingredients contain components that also have an E number such as vitamin C (E300) or lycopene (E160d). Thus because, for example, vitamin C has an E number (actually several E numbers, 300-305, for different chemical forms of the vitamin), it is impossible to live off a diet without any substances that have E numbers. "Free of E numbers" then simply means that pure forms of the substances are not intentionally added, even though identical substances certainly exist naturally in many foods.
1 Classification by numeric range 2 Full list o 2.1 E100E199 (colours) o 2.2 E200E299 (preservatives) o 2.3 E300E399 (antioxidants, acidity regulators) o 2.4 E400E499 (thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers) o 2.5 E500E599 (acidity regulators, anti-caking agents) o 2.6 E600E699 (flavour enhancers) o 2.7 E700E799 (antibiotics) o 2.8 E900E999 (miscellaneous) o 2.9 E1000E1999 (additional chemicals) 3 Notes
4 See also 5 External links
Classification by numeric range100109 110119 120129 100199 130139 Colours 140149 150159 160199 200209 210219 220229 230239 200299 240259 Preservatives 260269 270279 280289 290299 300305 306309 310319 320329 300399 Antioxidants & acidity 330339 regulators 340349 350359 360369 370399 400409 410419 420429 430439 400499 Thickeners, stabilisers & 440449 emulsifiers 450459 460469 470489 490499 500599 500509 pH regulators & anti-caking 510519 yellows (see the full list) orange reds blues & violets greens browns & blacks gold and others sorbates benzoates sulphites phenols & formates (methanoates) nitrates acetates (ethanoates) lactates propionates (propanoates) others ascorbates (vitamin C) Tocopherol (vitamin E) gallates & erythorbates lactates citrates & tartrates phosphates malates & adipates succinates & fumarates others alginates natural gums other natural agents polyoxyethene compounds natural emulsifiers phosphates cellulose compounds fatty acids & compounds others mineral acids & bases chlorides & sulphates
600699 Flavour enhancers 700799 Antibiotics
520529 530549 550559 570579 580599 620629 630639 640649 710713
sulphates & hydroxides alkali metal compounds silicates stearates & gluconates others glutamates inosinates others
11001599 Additional chemicals
900909 waxes 910919 synthetic glazes 920929 improving agents 930949 packaging gases 950969 sweeteners 990999 foaming agents New chemicals that do not fall into standard classification schemes
NB: Not all examples of a class fall into the given numeric range. Moreover, many chemicals, particularly in the E400499 range, have a variety of purposes.
Full listEach additional has its status:
permitted additionals are labeled with N/A; forbidden additionals were proven to cause diseases beyond any doubt; unpermitted additionals are those for which conclusive test data is not yet available either due to ongoing tests or no testing; dangerous additionals may be dangerous for people with chronic diseases.
E100E199 (colours)Code Name E100 Curcumin, turmeric E101 Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), formerly called lactoflavin (Vitamin G) Purpose food colouring (yellow-orange) food colouring (yellow-orange) food colouring (yellow-orange) food colouring (lemon yellow) StatusN/A N/A N/A
E101a Riboflavin-5'-Phosphate E102 Tartrazine (FD&C Yellow 5)
E103 Chrysoine resorcinol E104 Quinoline Yellow WS E105 Fast Yellow AB E106 Riboflavin-5-Sodium Phosphate E107 Yellow 2G Sunset Yellow FCF (Orange Yellow S, FD&C Yellow 6)
E111 Orange GGN E120 Cochineal, Carminic acid (carmines, Natural Red 4)
E121 Citrus Red 2
E122 Carmoisine, Azorubine
E123 Amaranth (FD&C Red 2) E124 Ponceau 4R (Cochineal Red A, Brilliant Scarlet 4R)
E125 Ponceau SX, Scarlet GN E126 Ponceau 6R E127 Erythrosine (FD&C Red 3) E128 Red 2G E129 Allura Red AC (FD&C Red 40)
food colouring Forbidden (golden) food colouring Undergoing a voluntary (dull or greenish phase-out in the UK. yellow) food colouring N/A (yellow) food colouring N/A (yellow) food colouring N/A (yellow) Banned in Finland, Norway & the UK (voluntarily). food colouring Products in the EU require (yellow-orange) warnings and is evaluating a phase-out. food colouring N/A (orange) food colouring N/A (crimson) food colouring Forbidden (dark red) Undergoing a voluntary phase-out in the UK, food colouring currently banned in Canada, (red to maroon) Japan, Norway, USA & Sweden. EU currently evaluating health risks. food colouring Forbidden (dark red) food colouring Unpermitted (red) food colouring N/A (red) food colouring N/A (red) food colouring Unpermitted (red) food colouring Forbidden (red) food colouring Banned in Denmark, (red) Belgium, France, Switzerland & Sweden. Undergoing a voluntary phase out in the UK.
Permitted in the US and by the EU (whilst preserving individual country bans). E130 Indanthrene blue RS E131 E132 E133 E140 food colouring N/A (blue) food colouring Patent Blue V Dangerous (dark blue) food Indigo carmine, FD&C Blue 2 Dangerous colouring(indigo) food colouring N/A Brilliant Blue FCF (FD&C Blue 1) (reddish blue) Chlorophylls and Chlorophyllins: food colouring N/A (i) Chlorophylls (ii) Chlorophyllins (green) Copper complexes of chlorophylls and chlorophyllins (i) Copper food colouring N/A complexes of chlorophylls (ii) (green) Copper complexes of chlorophyllins food colouring Green S Unpermitted (green) food colouring N/A Fast Green FCF (FD&C Green 3) (sea green) N/A Plain caramel food colouring N/A Caustic sulfite caramel food colouring N/A Ammonia caramel food colouring N/A Sulphite ammonia caramel food colouring N/A Black PN, Brilliant Black BN food colouring N/A Black 7984 food colouring N/A Carbon black, Vegetable carbon food colouring Brown FK (kipper brown) food colouring Unpermitted N/A Brown HT (chocolate brown HT) food colouring Alpha-carotene, Beta-carotene, N/A food colouring Gamma-carotene Annatto, bixin, norbixin food colouring Dangerous Paprika oleoresin, Capsanthin, N/A food colouring capsorubin N/A Lycopene food colouring N/A Beta-apo-8'-carotenal (C 30) food colouring Ethyl ester of beta-apo-8'-carotenic N/A food colouring acid (C 30) N/A Flavoxanthin food colouring N/A Lutein food colouring N/A Cryptoxanthin food colouring
E142 E143 E150a E150b E150c E150d E151 E152 E153 E154 E155 E160a E160b E160c E160d E160e E160f E161a E161b E161c
E161d E161e E161f E161g E161h E161i E161j E162 E163 E170 E171 E172 E173 E174 E175 E180 E181 E182
Rubixanthin Violaxanthin Rhodoxanthin Canthaxanthin Zeaxanthin Citranaxanthin Astaxanthin Beetroot Red, Betanin Anthocyanins Calcium carbonate, Chalk
food colouring food colouring food colouring food colouring food colouring food colouring food colouring food colouring food colouring food colouring food colouring Titanium dioxide (pure white) Iron oxides and hydroxides food colouring Aluminium food colouring Silver food colouring Gold food colouring Pigment Rubine, Lithol Rubine BK food colouring Tannin food colouring Orcein, Orchil food colouring
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
E200E299 (preservatives)Code E200 E201 E202 E203 E209 E210 E211 E212 E213 E214 E215 E216 E217 E218 E219 Name Purpose Sorbic acid preservative Sodium sorbate preservative Potassium sorbate preservative Calcium sorbate preservative Heptyl p-hydroxybenzoate preservative Benzoic acid preservative Sodium benzoate preservative Potassium benzoate preservative Calcium benzoate preservative Ethylparaben (ethyl parapreservative hydroxybenzoate) Sodium ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate preservative Propylparaben (propyl parapreservative hydroxybenzoate) Sodium propyl parapreservative hydroxybenzoate Methylparaben (methyl parapreservative hydroxybenzoate) Sodium methyl parapreservative hydroxybenzoate StatusN/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
UnpermittedN/A N/A N/A
Forbidden ForbiddenN/A N/A
E220 Sulphur dioxide E221 Sodium sulphite Sodium bisulphite (sodium E222 hydrogen sulphite) E223 Sodium metabisulphite E224 Potassium metabisulphite E225 Potassium sulphite E226 Calcium sulphite Calcium hydrogen sulphite E227 (preservative) E228 Potassium hydrogen sulphite E230 Biphenyl, diphenyl E231 O