An E number is a number code which is used for a food additive. E numbers are usually found on food labels in the European Union. The numbering scheme follows that of the International Numbering System (INS) as determined by the Codex Alimentarius committee. Not all of the INS additives are approved for use in the European Union. The 'E' prefix stands for Europe. In the UK and Ireland, the term "E-number" is used as a pejorative term for artificial food additives.[source?] Products may be promote themselves as "free of E-numbers" even though some of the ingredients (e.g. bicarbonate of soda) do have such a code.
E numbers are also encountered on food labeling in other parts of the world, including the GCC, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. They are increasingly (though still rarely) found on North American packaging, especially in Canada. The "E" prefix is omitted in Australia and New Zealand, and the term "E-Number" unknown.
Usually, the number has 3 digits. E numbers between E100 and E199 are colors. E numbers between E200 and E299 are preservatives. E numbers between E300 and E399 are antioxidants and acidity regulators. E numbers between E400 and E499 are thickeners, stabilizers and emulsifiers. E numbers between E500 and E599 are pH regulators. E numbers between E600 and E699 are flavor enhancers. E numbers between E700 and E799 are antibiotics. E numbers between E900 and E999 are glazing agents, gases, and sweeteners.
Other websites change
- Current EU approved additives and their E Numbers
- Food Additives in the European Union
- List of Food Additives, database for mobile phones Archived 2009-01-11 at the Wayback Machine