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E number

E numbers are codes for food additives and are usually found on food labels throughout the European Union. The numbering scheme follows that of the International Numbering System (INS) as determined by the Codex Alimentarius committee. Only a subset of the INS additives are approved for use in the European Union, giving rise to the 'E' prefix.

E numbers are also encountered on food labeling in other jurisdictions, including the GCC, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. They are increasingly (though still rarely) found on North American packaging, especially in Canada.

Additional recommended knowledge


Classification by numeric range

100–109 yellows
110–119 oranges
120–129 reds
130–139 blues & violets
140–149 greens
150–159 browns & blacks
160–199 others
200–209 sorbates
210–219 benzoates
220–229 sulphites
230–239 phenols & formates (methanoates)
240–259 nitrates
260–269 acetates (ethanoates)
270–279 lactates
280–289 propionates (propanoates)
290–299 others
Antioxidants & acidity regulators
300–305 ascorbates (vitamin C)
306–309 Tocopherol (vitamin E)
310–319 gallates & erythorbates
320–329 lactates
330–339 citrates & tartrates
340–349 phosphates
350–359 malates & adipates
360–369 succinates & fumarates
370–399 others
Thickeners, stabilisers & emulsifiers
400–409 alginates
410–419 natural gums
420–429 other natural agents
430–439 polyoxyethene compounds
440–449 natural emulsifiers
450–459 phosphates
460–469 cellulose compounds
470–489 fatty acids & compounds
490–499 others
pH regulators & anti-caking agents
500–509 mineral acids & bases
510–519 chlorides & sulphates
520–529 sulphates & hydroxides
530–549 alkali metal compounds
550–559 silicates
570–579 stearates & gluconates
580–599 others
Flavour enhancers
620–629 glutamates
630–639 inosinates
640–649 others
900–909 waxes
910–919 synthetic glazes
920–929 improving agents
930–949 packaging gases
950–969 sweeteners
990–999 foaming agents
Additional chemicals
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 E400–499 range, have a variety of purposes.

Full list

E100–E199 (colours)

E200–E299 (preservatives)

E300–E399 (antioxidants, acidity regulators)

E400–E499 (thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers)

  • E400 Alginic acid (thickener) (stabiliser) (gelling agent) (emulsifier)
  • E401 Sodium alginate (thickener) (stabiliser) (gelling agent) (emulsifier)
  • E402 Potassium alginate (thickener) (stabiliser) (gelling agent) (emulsifier)
  • E403 Ammonium alginate (thickener) (stabiliser) (emulsifier)
  • E404 Calcium alginate (thickener) (stabiliser) (gelling agent) (emulsifier)
  • E405 Propane-1,2-diol alginate (Propylene glycol alginate) (thickener) (stabiliser) (emulsifier)
  • E406 Agar (thickener) (gelling agent) (stabiliser)
  • E407 Carrageenan (thickener) (stabiliser) (gelling agent) (emulsifier)
  • E407a Processed eucheuma seaweed (thickener) (stabiliser) (gelling agent) (emulsifier)
  • E410 Locust bean gum (Carob gum) (thickener) (stabiliser) (gelling agent) (emulsifier)
  • E412 Guar gum (thickener) (stabiliser)
  • E413 Tragacanth (thickener) (stabiliser) (emulsifier)
  • E414 Acacia gum (gum arabic) (thickener) (stabiliser) (emulsifier)
  • E415 Xanthan gum (thickener) (stabiliser)
  • E416 Karaya gum (thickener) (stabiliser) (emulsifier)
  • E417 Tara gum (thickener) (stabiliser)
  • E418 Gellan gum (thickener) (stabiliser) (emulsifier)
  • E420 Sorbitol (i) Sorbitol (ii) Sorbitol syrup (emulsifier) (sweetener) (humectant)
  • E421 Mannitol (anti-caking agent) (sweetener)
  • E422 Glycerol (emulsifier) (sweetener)
  • E425 Konjac (i) Konjac gum (ii) Konjac glucomannane (emulsifier)
  • E430 Polyoxyethene (8) stearate (emulsifier) (stabiliser)
  • E431 Polyoxyethene (40) stearate (emulsifier)
  • E432 Polyoxyethene (20) sorbitan monolaurate (polysorbate 20) (emulsifier)
  • E433 Polyoxyethene (20) sorbitan monooleate (polysorbate 80) (emulsifier)
  • E434 Polyoxyethene (20) sorbitan monopalmitate (polysorbate 40) (emulsifier)
  • E435 Polyoxyethene (20) sorbitan monostearate (polysorbate 60) (emulsifier)
  • E436 Polyoxyethene (20) sorbitan tristearate (polysorbate 65) (emulsifier)
  • E440 Pectins (i) pectin (ii) amidated pectin (emulsifier)
  • E441 Gelatine (emulsifier) (gelling agent)
  • E442 Ammonium phosphatides (emulsifier)
  • E444 Sucrose acetate isobutyrate (emulsifier)
  • E445 Glycerol esters of wood rosins (emulsifier)
  • E450 Diphosphates (i) Disodium diphosphate (ii) Trisodium diphosphate (iii) Tetrasodium diphosphate (iv) Dipotassium diphosphate (v) Tetrapotassium diphosphate (vi) Dicalcium diphosphate (vii) Calcium dihydrogen diphosphate (emulsifier)
  • E451 Triphosphates (i) Sodium tripolyphosphate (pentasodium triphosphate) (ii) Pentapotassium triphosphate (emulsifier)
  • E452 Polyphosphates (i) Sodium polyphosphates (ii) Potassium polyphosphates (iii) Sodium calcium polyphosphate (iv) Calcium polyphophates (emulsifier)
  • E459 Beta-cyclodextrine (emulsifier)
  • E460 Cellulose (i) Microcrystalline cellulose (ii) Powdered cellulose (emulsifier)
  • E461 Methyl cellulose (emulsifier)
  • E462 Ethyl cellulose (emulsifier)
  • E463 Hydroxypropyl cellulose (emulsifier)
  • E464 Hydroxy propyl methyl cellulose (emulsifier)
  • E465 Ethyl methyl cellulose (emulsifier)
  • E466 Carboxymethyl cellulose, Sodium carboxy methyl cellulose (emulsifier)
  • E468 Crosslinked sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (emulsifier) (Note - this additive is under discussion and may be included in a future amendment to the Directive on miscellaneous additives)
  • E469 Enzymically hydrolysed carboxymethylcellulose (emulsifier)
  • E470a Sodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids (emulsifier) (anti-caking agent)
  • E470b Magnesium salts of fatty acids (emulsifier) (anti-caking agent)
  • E471 Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (glyceryl monostearate, glyceryl distearate) (emulsifier)
  • E472a Acetic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (emulsifier)
  • E472b Lactic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (emulsifier)
  • E472c Citric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (emulsifier)
  • E472d Tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (emulsifier)
  • E472e Mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (emulsifier)
  • E472f Mixed acetic and tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (emulsifier)
  • E473 Sucrose esters of fatty acids (emulsifier)
  • E474 Sucroglycerides (emulsifier)
  • E475 Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids (emulsifier)
  • E476 Polyglycerol polyricinoleate (emulsifier)
  • E477 Propane-1, 2-diol esters of fatty acids, propylene glycol esters of fatty acids (emulsifier)
  • E478 Lactylated fatty acid esters of glycerol and propane-1 (emulsifier)
  • E479b Thermally oxidized soya bean oil interacted with mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (emulsifier)
  • E481 Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate (emulsifier)
  • E482 Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate (emulsifier)
  • E483 Stearyl tartrate (emulsifier)
  • E491 Sorbitan monostearate (emulsifier)
  • E492 Sorbitan tristearate (emulsifier)
  • E493 Sorbitan monolaurate (emulsifier)
  • E494 Sorbitan monooleate (emulsifier)
  • E495 Sorbitan monopalmitate (emulsifier)

E500–E599 (acidity regulators, anti-caking agents)

E600–E699 (flavour enhancers)

  • E620 Glutamic acid (flavour enhancer)
  • E621 Monosodium glutamate (MSG) (flavour enhancer)
  • E622 Monopotassium glutamate (flavour enhancer)
  • E623 Calcium diglutamate (flavour enhancer)
  • E624 Monoammonium glutamate (flavour enhancer)
  • E625 Magnesium diglutamate (flavour enhancer)
  • E626 Guanylic acid (flavour enhancer)
  • E627 Disodium guanylate, sodium guanylate (flavour enhancer)
  • E628 Dipotassium guanylate (flavour enhancer)
  • E629 Calcium guanylate (flavour enhancer)
  • E630 Inosinic acid (flavour enhancer)
  • E631 Disodium inosinate (flavour enhancer)
  • E632 Dipotassium inosinate (flavour enhancer)
  • E633 Calcium inosinate (flavour enhancer)
  • E634 Calcium 5'-ribonucleotides (flavour enhancer)
  • E635 Disodium 5'-ribonucleotides (flavour enhancer)
  • E636 Maltol (flavour enhancer)
  • E637 Ethyl maltol (flavour enhancer)
  • E640 Glycine and its sodium salt (flavour enhancer)

E900–E999 (miscellaneous)

E1000–E1999 (additional chemicals)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "E_number". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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