The name that is given to any additive, preservative or an emulsion used in the production and preparation of food is the ‘E-Number’. This shows that this ‘product’ has been for use in Europe and the USA (but not necessarily in all countries).
Types of additives and preservatives:
1) E 100 – Food colours (Example – E 102 – Tartrazine)
2) E 200 – Preservatives (Example – E 211 – Sodium Benzoate)
3) E 300 – Antioxidants 9 (Example – E 300 – Ascorbic Acid)
4) E 400 – Emulsifiers, Gelling Agents, Thickeners (Example – E 404 – Calcium Alginate)
5) E 900 – Sweeteners (Example – E 951 – Aspartame)
6) Others – Acidity Regulators, Bulking Agents and Flavour Enhances (Example – E 621 MSG)
E-Numbers that are Advisable for Children to Avoid –
Some of the E numbers that the UK government have suggested that children should avoid, especially if they have shown any signs of suffering from hyperactivity, these include:
1) E 102 – tartrazine. As well as hyperactivity, this has been linked to asthma, stomach problems, tiredness and skin irritation. This is commonly found in food such as biscuits, sweets and interestingly mushy peas.
2) E 110 – sunset yellow. In addition to behavioural problems and hyperactivity, it has also been linked allergies and gastric problems. It has been found in foods such as in ice creams, soft drinks and sweets.
3) E 112 – carmoisine. This has also been linked to an increase in allergies and intolerances. This product is commonly used in biscuits, jelly, ready meals and sweets.
4) E 124 – ponceau 4R. This has been linked to instances of allergies and intolerances. This product can be found in biscuits, drinks and sweets.
5) E 129 – allure red. This has been linked with asthma, difficulties in digesting food, gastric upset, stomach aches and even vomiting. This product can be commonly found in foods such as sausages and soft drinks.
6) E104 – quinoline yellow. It has also been linked with issues of asthma and skin irritation. It has been found in products such as smoked meats (including fish), pickles, fizzy drinks, biscuits, chocolate and sweets.
7) E 211 – Sodium benzoate. This product has been linked to asthma, breathing difficulties, head aches and also hyperactivity. This product is often found in foods such as baked foods (cakes and pastries), ice lollies, ice creams and fizzy drinks.
I hope this gives you a better idea on what are E numbers when used in food and which ones should be avoided.
Thank you for reading.