Wednesday, June 15, 2022

‘E’ numbering

The use of food additives is nothing new; the salting of meat for preservation has been known and practiced for centuries.

The “E numbers” in the ingredients list of packaged foods replace the chemical or common name of particular food additives. The numbering scheme follows that of the International Numbering System (INS) as determined by the Codex Alimentarius committee. The E stands for Europe.

E100s are generally colors.
E200 to E282 are mainly preservatives and acids.
E300 to E341 are mainly antioxidants and acid regulators.
E400s include emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, anti-caking agents, release agents and bulking agents.

All food additives, including artificial colors have an "E number", which means they have passed safety tests and are approved for use in the EU.

Many of these additives were once of natural origin. However, most are now prepared/produced synthetically as these are often less expensive than the natural product.

These chemicals - or E-numbers as they are known - are added to enhance the flavor and color of food, and to prolong its shelf life. A food additive is formally defined 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”.
‘E’ numbering

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