Talk:E number

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Redundancy with list of food additives[edit]

Someone put this page under the heading "Enumbers"; much of this appears to duplicate the food additive listings; the two should perhaps be merged Malcolm Farmer 02:09, 2002 Mar 7

Indeed, this has been done. --anon 23:34, 2004 Oct 26
The list on this page still seems redundant with list of food additives. That page suggests that the actual numbers are internationally standardised and it's just that 'E' prefix that's unique to Europe. Is that so, or are there differences in the numbering schemes? If not, I think the list on page should be merged into list of food additives. -- JTN 16:03, 2005 Feb 21 (UTC)

Source of annotations[edit]

What's the source of the PAR, LGM, and AO annotations in the list? -- JTN 16:03, 2005 Feb 21 (UTC)

I see that more than 18 months later, the source has still not been identified. This is not good. — Haeleth Talk 10:11, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
OK, time to remove them -- it's been two years now. I will do it. --Macrakis 14:30, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Anyone mind if we add columns in to the tables for these (Possible allergic reaction, Likely genetically modified, Animal origin), obviously with each cited individually. It's very useful information. Muleattack (talk) 17:05, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
If I don't get any objections soon then the status column is going and being replaced by an Animal Origin column. This is my area of interest but I'd welcome the re-addition of allergic reaction and gm columns. Muleattack (talk) 01:49, 28 December 2010 (UTC)


Since a tag has been added a Cleanup, I would like to ask what is so wrong with the article? I fell that all the list of the E numbers, strongly, must stay. These E numbers are really often used in chemistry. For example E Number 'E507' is Hydrochloric Acid. If it is anything that needs cleaned up - I think it should just be the opening passage. Thanks, 18:57, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

Hi, I added it to Cleanup, at the moment its just a long list and I'm sure something could be done with a table to present the information a lot better, and perhaps have a footer template linking to E100s, E200s, etc. I agree the list should stay, just in what format. --PopUpPirate 20:03, September 8, 2005 (UTC)

Hello. I just saw this page and as a teacher I find it should be improved in one respect. The introduction should note/state clearly that the list contains many substances which are proven harmless and, indeed are found in nature (carrots, berries etc). Such a note is important as it challenges the common misconseption that "any E-number is bad for you", and thus makes the following list particularly important. Thank you. Norway, January 8. 2006

Templates for food articles[edit]

Just created few templates. Feel free to improve them, create new similar ones and give constructive feedback.

The mother template is template:E-ingredient, it is used by ingredient specific templates such as template:Ingredient-E414. I'm using them on article Hubba Bubba soda.

What would be a good category to place the articles having the template in "category:food and drink having Exxx" or maybe "category:food and drink having ingredientname" ? --Easyas12c 21:48, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Is "category:Exxx" good enought? The list of categories will get quite long with the ones I suggested earlier. Please give me a comment on this. --Easyas12c 22:11, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Be aware of other Exxx things, eg. various roads. What about "Exxx additive"? --Shaddack 02:19, 2 December 2005 (UTC)


Coverage is given to the health concerns of E-number food additives. However, the very point of an additive getting an E-number is that it has been deemed safe for food use. This article therefore needs some material describing the testing and approval process. I'm afraid I know nothing about the details, so I can't do it. 10:47, 19 December 2005 (UTC)


These two E numbers are not in the official list. The article on Erythorbin acid seems to be an old copy of Erythorbic acid with neither the name, nor the E number changed. Highly suspicious. Jeff Knaggs 13:55, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


User:Ayeomans changed Ethanon to Ethanol. Is this correct? Ethanol is a toxic substance and so unlikely to be assigned an E number. But what is Ethanon? — Monedula 13:10, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Ethanol isn't really that toxic; it's found in alcoholic beverages, but its also used as a preservative (for example in soy sauce). I would assume that ethanol is correct. I have never heard of ethanon, and it doesn't sound like a standard chemical name. There is something called ethanone, but it appears to only exist as a functional group and not as a substance. -- 02:22, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Info boxes[edit]

Hi folks, I started making some infoboxes to put into articles describing substances that have an E number. So far, the following exist:

I've put these into the respective articles, but what's missing now, of course, is similar templates for the other ranges (100-199, 200-299 etc.) and subranges (100-109, 110-119 etc.) Does anyone feel like helping out and making these? I hope the intended structure of the infoboxes is clear from the above templates; if not, the idea is to have three "layers", so to speak:

  1. One layer for the basic classification (e.g., colours, preservatives etc.)
  2. One layer for the more specific classification inside the first layer (e.g., yellows, oranges, reds etc. in the case of colours; similar for other basic classification layers)
  3. One layer for the actual substances (e.g., curcumin, riboflavin etc. in teh case of yellows)

Every infobox describes one "specific classification" layer (e.g., yellows) and lists all the substances that fall into this layer. The entries in the first two layers that the infobox describes (e.g., "colours" and "yellows") are bolded.

That's about it. If anyone feels like creating more infoboxes, that'd be great; also, feel free to tweak and improve the layout and so on, of course (as usual, be bold). :) If you want to get back to me, just leave me a note on my talk page (I may not see if you reply here). Thanks, and have fun. :) -- Schnee (cheeks clone) 19:49, 18 July 2006 (UTC)



Changed the phrasing for E605 about this to be more useful when just glancing through. You no longer have to click the reference or scroll to the bottom to see the substance it is. Should E605 be on this page as it is not a food-additive e-number, that being the definition given at the top of this page. Surely there are more "e-numbers" like this that the Germans use?

Chris 22:31, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Links to Exxx pages[edit]

I've made links out of all the Exxx words, so that it is possible to see which redirects still need to be created. Also, those Exxx pages that are NOT redirects (if there are any) might be redundant if the agent has an article under its full name. László 09:48, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Maybe something more comprehensible?[edit]

I found this page trying to find an explanation to a Brit's comment he felt "like a five-year-old who'd had too many E-numbers," because he'd had a busy day and was thus rather hyper. Well, American that I am, I had no idea what that meant. So I was kind of wondering whether we shouldn't include something explaining the general view of them or something?

I was surprised that there is nothing on this entry about the perception of them by the public or the media here. There were frequently stories about 'E Numbers' in the tabloid press a few years ago, and occassionally there still are. I even saw a program a few days ago where a mother reckoned her son was 'allergic to E Numbers', which is ridiculous of course (it's as absurd as saying he's allergic to foods that begin with the letter A), but it shows that people percieve them as being unhealthy and artificial chemicals. The word 'additive' simply means something that is added into a food, which could be something as simple as natural colouring, sugar, salt, anything, but it's synonomous with junk food these days. I may try and locate some articles to source and write a section on this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, August 30, 2007 (UTC)

Out of date external link[edit]

The link "Current EU approved additives and their E Numbers" is out of date. The page was last updated in 2002. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:57, 5 May 2007

If there haven't been any changes to the EU approved additives list since then, then it isn't out of date. If it is, then please contact the government department responsible for that page. It's still a valuable link. Ciotog 14:14, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Parathion Removal[edit]

While Parathion has E605 as a synonym, its article clearly indicates this does not mean it should be a food additive. The E in this case is German for development number. ChemGardener 21:40, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Banned where[edit]

It would be informative if there was a list where each E substance was banned/allowed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hreinn (talkcontribs) 13:34, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

Food Label Picture[edit]

I think it would be helpful if this article included a scan of an EU food label. I'm curious myself if it's just an incomprehensible list of codes, or also includes additives that are decipherable without some kind of reference table. (talk) 20:04, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


Hi. I have information that E317 is Potassium isoascorbate. In this article E317 is Erythorbin acid. Where is the truth?
--Panfily was here (talk) 06:28, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

E numbers and ci numbers[edit]

can anyone tell me where i can find a full list of E numbers, their names,ci numbers and their names.This is driving me mad. My family are all intolerant to artificial colours and preservatives and now cosmetic companies only use ci numbers and i can't find any information to compare everything. (talk) 17:21, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

See the list [here] where also CI numbers are given.Knorrepoes (talk) 13:05, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Natural or artifical[edit]

If there's is anyone out could specify which E number is classify as natural or artifical. It does not give enough details to support the increase awareness of food additives. For most, the public couldn't tell which additives are made from natural source or made synthetically.

the artificial colours are no. 101 to 150. but the worst ones (azo dyes) are E104 to E 124. Avoid at all costs. (talk) 17:24, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Or chemicals are chemicals. You want to avoid the dangerous chemicals, not the man made ones. (talk) 19:04, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Regardless of source, it's the same chemical. You can get the green color from apples or from synthesis and you should have the same reaction if allergic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:31, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

In principle, it's possible for any chemical to occur in nature and be synthesised artificially. So this wouldn't make any sense. --Benimation (talk) 18:26, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

This article talk page was automatically added with {{WikiProject Food and drink}} banner as it falls under Category:Food or one of its subcategories. If you find this addition an error, Kindly undo the changes and update the inappropriate categories if needed. The bot was instructed to tagg these articles upon consenus from WikiProject Food and drink. You can find the related request for tagging here . Maximum and carefull attention was done to avoid any wrongly tagging any categories , but mistakes may happen... If you have concerns , please inform on the project talk page -- TinucherianBot (talk) 17:36, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Please help to examine....[edit]

if the note cited correctly, as my French is very rusty and has not been touched fully for 20 years. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:04, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I am unable to find source classifying antibiotics as approved food additives and therefore it seems unusual thier classification with E codes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:10, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

It's not unusual, it's because there isn't a verifiable source. Wikibollocks is an appropriate description. (talk) 15:25, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

What is the E number of ....[edit]

Pulegone or is it listed as a food additive???-- (talk) 00:15, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

it is an aroma compound and not an additive, so no E-number.Knorrepoes (talk) 13:02, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

What is the E number of ....[edit]

beta-Caryophyllene ???-- (talk) 03:17, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

it is an aroma compound and not an additive, so no E-number.Knorrepoes (talk) 13:03, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

What is the official/formal definition of....[edit]

E number and where can I find it???-- (talk) 06:12, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Misleading terms[edit]

I find the use of "unpermitted" and "dangerous" in the "Status" column misleading.

I read "unpermitted" as meaning "not permitted" and "dangerous" as "universally dangerous". I expect both to mean that the substance in question has been banned, which seems not to be the case for either.

The intended meaning of these terms is explained in the key, but it's easy to overlook that when browsing the table. I suggest that better terms are sought. Does anyone else have a view on this? (talk) 21:49, 12 November 2009 (UTC).


Is there a reason that they skipped the 800s? (talk) 06:23, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Messy info...E number...[edit]

-- (talk) 09:22, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

-- (talk) 09:25, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Where is the E numbering system at

-- (talk) 09:44, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Ref 4 link is broken -- (talk) 09:54, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

No matter what -- if EU follows INS, an official doc should mean that, and show reference to INS. Is there any such doc around somewhere...???-- (talk) 10:13, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

A call for a book review of the following....[edit]

-- (talk) 10:21, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

-- (talk) 10:26, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Anyhow, the numbering system for food additives in the book is quite weak to me-- (talk) 10:21, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm curious to know why the INS system does not follow the suit of drug labeling systems governed by ICH, FDA and TGA etc....???-- (talk) 10:35, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Problem of E 1521....[edit]

-- (talk) 11:01, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 11:04, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

I guess that E number/INS number players are perhaps 走穴 persons

-- (talk) 11:31, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 11:45, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 11:51, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Clarification and citation tags (??)[edit]

Why are there two clarification tags and a citation tag in the first paragraph of this page? There is no explanation with them of what is requested. Nadiatalent (talk) 22:05, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

The first one ("[clarification needed]") might have been added because the given reference doesn't say anything about the naming. The German Wikipedia says "E steht hierbei für „Europa“ aber auch für „edible“ = engl. für essbar" ("E stands for "Europe" but as well for "edible"). But I don't get what's the problem with the second one. --StYxXx (talk) 04:42, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Ref citation request again E104 UK phase out. A relevant citation is actually given on the article about E104 itself ( This BBC news story also says that there are other E numbers subject to the phase out (E104 is the only one shown in this wikipedia article - others not appropriately annotated) and that this was due to be completed by 2009. Suggest this article is updated with this citation, the table is updated to show all E numbers that were subject to the voluntary phase-out and that the phase-out has happened (rather than is underway). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:19, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

E number of defoamers.....???[edit]

The food that contain the additive is
五两素鸡 by -- (talk) 04:25, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
产品标准号: Q//IMBV02
卫生许可证号: 沪质监(南)食证字(2006)第0170号

-- (talk) 05:02, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 04:33, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 04:38, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 04:42, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 04:53, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Blank cells in the Status column? Additives vs. additionals?[edit]

The further I went down the Full list section, the more blank cells I saw in the Status column. By blank, I mean the cells were completely empty, without N/A, Unpermitted, or any other notes written in that cell (E426, E700, and so on). These cells should either be filled with the appropriate information or the text before the first table in the Full list section should include a description of what should be in that cell.

Also, where the opening section uses the term "food additives," the text before the list in the Full list section uses the term "additionals" to apparently mean the same thing. This is especially confusing because of the sub-header, "E1000–E1999 (additional chemicals)."

I'm sorry that I can't do more than point these problems out. Thanks in advance for your help, --Geekdiva (talk) 03:33, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

free of e numbers[edit]

I'm seeing the following statement in the article:

To have a diet without any components that have an E number is basically impossible.

I know very little about E Numbers at this point, but based on other information in the article, it seems to me that this statement is overreaching. It seems like the E numbers are for additives, including vitamins and such, and that basic ingredients like, say, "Cream" would not have an E number. If I'm correct (I'm marking this dubious rather than correcting it because I don't know enough about E numbers to be certain), then the above statement is surely false: For example, the Häagen Dazs "Five" product line has ice creams with ingredients such as "SKIM MILK, CREAM, SUGAR, EGG YOLKS, MINT EXTRACT"[1]. Do any of those have E Numbers? If so, then perhaps more clarification can be given in the table of number ranges or something.

Lindes (talk) 04:19, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

For one thing, the article said "a diet", not "a food product". You can't live off of Häagen Dazs ice cream alone.
For another thing, egg yolks are a rich source of lecithin. Lecithin has E number E322, therefore even this ice cream contains a chemical substance with an E number. The only reason they aren't obligted to put the E number on the label is because they didn't add pure lecithin, they added egg yolks, which naturally contain lecithin. But it's exactly the same chemical substance, so if it did anything bad to you by itself, it would also be bad for you in egg yolks.
By the way, do you know the most carcinogenic substance that's likely to be found in food in any significant concentration? It doesn't have an E number. They're called aflatoxins and they're produced naturally by fungi that infect, for example, peanuts. So you could have a jar of peanut butter with this ingredient list: "Peanuts.", and it could still be really toxic, carcinogenic stuff. It could even be organic peanut butter - same aflatoxin. But people are instead worried about harmless, ubiquitous substances just because they have scary "chemical" names.
Sorry for ranting, but I've been really irritated lately by people who want to cut all the nasty "chemicals" out of their diet. Everything is made of chemicals. —Keenan Pepper 07:49, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Hear hear. Very well put. (talk) 19:23, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Some of the products with E numbers are required for life, notably Ascorbic acid (E300). You can't live without it. It's that simple. Groogle (talk) 05:11, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

And for yet another thing, he had a completely valid reasoning underpinning his very helpful question as to whether it was proper to mark 'dubious'. A very courteous passing comment. Almost saccharine sweet (hay lol see what I did there?). Ingredients defined elsewhere in Pure Food and Drug act type legislation will give name (ice cream), required composition of some things (x% egg yolks), and/or exclusion of others (human breastmilk). E numbers seem to originate in the legislative definitions of additives. Response to Sgt. Pepper's points: Point 1: Irrelevant semantics. Don't be a dick. Point 2: I believe you confirmed his point here. But then misunderstood it and went on some rant on how chemicals are chemicals and associating one of those crackpot mindsets ("RED #5 MADE MY SON AN ASPIE") with an otherwise apparently coherent and polite commenter. It's all in your head unless you two have some prior Wikidrama. If so, take it to ArbCom or whatever you regulars do. Again, don't be a dick. Then you talk about alfatoxins, repeating the insulting assumption that the commenter is a crackpot. Then you offer an apology that, if sincere, ought to have led to you deleting everything else you'd written. The quoted line from the intro is extraneous at best. Definitely not in an encyclopedic tone for an article on E numbers of all the boring subjects to inject a smart-assed tone. For the article on DHMO hoaxes, that'd be expected and helpful in getting the "lol chemicals are chemicals" point across and actually help the reader. For something like an article on E numbers, it's off-putting and just serves as an in-jerk for the circle of angry chem majors. I recommend you take a Wikibreak from Wikichem, then let some of that angst out. And don't be a dick? At least not to those who unintentionally trolls you and the peanut gallery. (anon IP address, Groogle) I anxiously await your replies, DrDonOng (talk) 13:28, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure what kind of reply you're expecting. I would only like to point out the date of my comment (about a year ago), and refer you to meta:Don't be a dick#How to deal with dicks without being a dick yourself. —Keenan Pepper 00:50, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Your quick reply bolsters the argument's relevance. A year old dick-move is still a dick-move. To quote your Wiki recommendations: "If others have called you a dick, consider the possibility that the accusations hold at least some measure of truth. If you suspect that you may have a problem with dickery, the first step is to become aware of it. Ask yourself what behavior might be causing this perception, and if you can't work it out, politely ask those that perceive it to explain or clarify. Once you have determined which behaviors are causing the problem, try changing them and your mode of presentation. In particular, identify the harsh manners in your communications and replace them with softer ones.

Honestly examine your motivations. Are you here to contribute and make the project good? Or is your goal really to find fault, get your views across, or be the one in control? Perhaps secretly inside you even enjoy the thrill of a little confrontation. This may not make you a bad person, but to everyone who is busily trying to build something great, you become an impediment. People get frustrated, rancor ensues, the atmosphere changes, and the whole project suffers. Are you here to give, or to take?

If appropriate, publicly apologize to anyone to whom you may have been a dick. It's okay; this won't make you seem weak. On the contrary, people will take notice of your willingness to renounce dickery and will almost always meet your efforts with increased respect."

I suggest an apology to that well-intentioned Lindes dude. If he's not an active editor, review your srsness about this article and life in general. I'm sure as hell not looking for any amity between us. Merely agitating for "anti-dickery" in a personal and inflammatory form most effective. As an otherwise disinterested reader who had also noticed the tone of an angsty chem major permeating the introduction as off-putting and unnecessary, I looked at the talk page. Worried that E number might be 'your' article, I want to set you straight away from unironic Wikirage. Be kind. Do what you will. DrDonOng (talk) 02:42, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

The only reason I replied quickly was that this page is on my watchlist, so it popped up. I doubt that Lindes has any beef with me over my year-old rant.
Of course I have no funny ideas about this being "my" article. I urge you to be bold and change it if you notice an unencyclopedic tone "permeating" the introduction. I might like the new version better! —Keenan Pepper 11:55, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Marking prohibited / not permitted / harmful E numbers with colors in the table[edit]

It may be useful to mark prohibited or unpermitted with red. There are also some, believed to be causing allergies, they should also be marked somehow - I'he seen such colored tables as comparison of computer software. Greetings, Newp. 15:32, 12 September 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Njupas (talkcontribs)

Status Column[edit]

Of the little information present in the status columns none is cited. Also, is it really information that would be helpful to anyone at a glance? I suggest the column goes.Muleattack (talk) 18:47, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

I have added a bunch of references to this column, and removed some of the unreferenced and/or contradictory information. I suggest this column be used to add referenced information pertaining to legal status in various local juridictions. -- Ed (Edgar181) 14:43, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Animal, Mineral or Vegetable?[edit]

I want to add in a column that shows at a glance what the origin of each E-number is. Previously there were three columns, AO (Animal Origin) PAR (Possible allergic reaction) and GM (Genetically modified). These were removed as no source was provided for the information. I propose a column headed 'Source' is added with the options animal/mineral/vegetable or a combination. I may be oversimplifying with just the three options so let me know if there's a flaw in my proposal and how to remedy it and if you think it's a good idea or not. Muleattack (talk) 01:26, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I've just found this website that lists the sources of all the enumbers, would anyone oppose it's use a source for what I have proposed above and the addition of this information back in to the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Muleattack (talkcontribs) 19:35, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Better read E-numbers of animal origin: first.Knorrepoes (talk) 05:39, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Do you mean because some can be from more than one origin? I did mention it could be a combination of sources. Other than that is it okay do you think?Muleattack (talk) 02:53, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

True E-numbers[edit]

I cleaned up a bit. The sentence approved in the EU makes no sense, if they are not approved, it is not an E-number (see definition)... those should be listed in the INS list where they belong, so I also removed all that were not approved. Also removed unsourced references on forbidden in EU countries. All E-numbers are allowed in all member states by law. Knorrepoes (talk) 14:20, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

There are items that have been given E numbers which are no longer approved in the EU - but they still have E numbers and it is useful to list them here. -- Ed (Edgar181) 18:02, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
They have no offical E-number anymore, but INS number remains of course. So should be listed in the INS list, not E-number list.Knorrepoes (talk) 17:52, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
You are deleting a large amount of useful information based on semantics. Even if approval changes, the E numbers still exist, they still are known identifiers attached to the chemical compound, the information in this article is still useful, and the approval status in various jurisdictions is relevant. If you want to move some information to another article or split this article, that's fine, but just removing it entirely is not helpful at all. -- Ed (Edgar181) 20:36, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Looking at all the individual articles for items on this list, we include E numbers in the text and in the infoboxes even if they are no longer approved in the EU. If we are going to make a significant change in the way we present this data (in this article and in all the other articles) we should be consistent, and we should have consensus. Personally, I don't see any benefit at all in removing E number information from this article. I'll leave a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Food and drink to get more input. Deli nk (talk) 12:49, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Knorrepoes is right. Substances unapproved in Europe simply do not have an E-number as 'E' means approved in Europe. What do you mean by 'based on semantics'? Isn't the whole of Wikipedia about the semantics of various words and phrases? Moreover - about the correct semantics. Yes, occasionally we do talk about common misuses of terms but we mark them as such (incorrect) explicitly and clearly. So even if you insist on keeping and 'fostering' this incorrect usage we must mark it clearly as incorrect. One way would be to strike through former E-numbers - E408. But have those ever even been on the approved list? I don't think so. It seems that the table of E-numbers has simply been copied from the ISN numbers which is incorrect. Can anyone point to a source that speaks of any disapproved former E-numbers? As far as I know the only reevaluation is still ongoing and is to be completed by 2020. If that's so then we must delete all E-numbers not on the approved list. We could add a note about the incorrect usage and redirect readers to the article about ISN numbers where one could consult their approval status; otherwise this article would become a copy of ISN numbers. Knorrepoes simply deleted incorrect information that is listed correctly in another article, namely that of ISN numbers. As an EU press release succinctly says - The E-number identifies safe food additives. --Exonie 01:01, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Query about number for emulsifiers[edit]

The article says that numbers beginning "4" are emulsifiers, but I have seen, on a packet of sugar free flavoured sweets, E322 indicated as an emulsifier, along with E471. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 09:43, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Lecithin is both an emulsifier and an antioxidant, but it can only have one E number. —Keenan Pepper 17:54, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Etymology / Other use of E numbers[edit]

^ In Germany, it was the practice to designate compounds by their development number. Another compound known commonly in Germany by its number is parathion, which was the 605th compound to be developed in search for insecticide. It is commonly known as E605 (E stands for Entwicklungsnummer (German for "development number")

Is said elsewhere in wikipedia - perhaps thsi could be disambiguity link? Maybe this is the origin of the term E number and not from Europe number - that being a later designation?? Can it be looked at and added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:23, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Query about annatto[edit]

Here is my query about E160b, in other words, annatto. The article says that this gives food an orange colour, but shouldn't it say "red", given that this is what is typically found in Red Leicester cheese? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:36, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

If you add a little bit you get orange cheese, if you add more you get red cheese.--Stone (talk) 21:48, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Erythorbic vs Erythorbin ?[edit]

(Copied from my discussion page)

I'm trying to figure out the difference between E315 Erythorbic acid and E317 Erythorbin acid, and consequently the difference between E316 Sodium erythorbate and E318 Sodium erythorbin. I can find nothing on the erythorbins. --Iantresman (talk) 18:12, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

I have actually tried to figure out the same thing out too, without success. I think they are synonyms, but then they shouldn't have separate E numbers... -- Ed (Edgar181) 20:15, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I've seen several sources that seem to suggest that, but I think they're either being lazy, unsubstantiated, or perhaps they're something like enantiomers? I've tried to find similar sounding pairs of chemicals, like "ascorbic acid" vs ascorbin acid, but there seems to be the same uncertaintly. --Iantresman (talk) 20:25, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Based on nomenculture, I would assume one is an oxidised form of the other. It is hard to find definite differences between them online. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:42, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

E700–E799 (antibiotics)[edit]

Anyone have an authoritative reference for any E700–E799 (antibiotics)? --Iantresman (talk) 17:24, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

@Iantresman:, I doubt it, and Im going to add a citation needed. Christian75 (talk) 19:37, 8 December 2015 (UTC)


Approved for use where? In the UK only or the whole EU? I understand the FSA is British. Dawright12 (talk) 10:28, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

All E-numbers are approved in the whole EU. FSA is here only a sourceKnorrepoes (talk) 05:59, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Redirect "Clean Label" to E-Number article[edit]

Good Day. I just wanted to point out, that a search for "clean label" redirects to here. I found nothing about "clean label" stuff on the page. Although I do basically know what "clean label" means, it seems a bit strange to me to redirect here without even mentioning it.

Thanks. lg --Crotha 09:23, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Article vandalism[edit]

E number - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia‎ E numbers are codes for chemicals which can be used as food additives for use within the European Union and Switzerland (the "E" stands for "Europe"). ‎Numbering scheme - ‎Colloquial use - ‎Classification by numeric range - ‎Full list

I took this from a Google search. Note the parathetical phrase.

This line now heads the article E does not stand for europe. it obviously stands for life. Summer thinks e is for europe. its not. Whoever has is having a spat with "Summer" needs to seek professional help. You make it look like people interested in limiting additives in their food to be mentally unstable. (talk) 00:37, 22 September 2013 (UTC)David

E150d in EU[edit]

My Swiss Coke Zero has E150d. The article only shows "approved in the US" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

As it has an E, it is approved in the EU (the E is only valid for the EU)Knorrepoes (talk) 15:07, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Table of additives vs LD50 ?[edit]

It might not be notable for Wikipedia, but I'm sure someone, somewhere, has created a table of approved additives vs their LD50 by ingestion in rats, derived from MSDS sources !
It should include 'natural' traditional food chemicals like salt, sugar, baking soda etc.
Any takers ? I may spend some more time flexing my Google-fu ...
-- (talk) 18:36, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Found, but it takes quite a different angle -
eg grams per kilogram of foodstuff, rather than grams per kilogram of the dead body.
So it's an acute 'per-ingestion' thing, rather than a lifetime-accumulation thing. Interesting, though !
It also sets the level at '1% of first effect' rather than '50% killed' - probably better for foodstuffs than chemicals.
links to other tables - pesticide and vet-drug residues. -- (talk) 19:17, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

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Labeling requirements[edit]

Does this article address any statutory labeling requirements? (I don't see any)... Are there requirements? I propose to create a section called "labeling requirements". Thought I would get some feedback here in the process:


  • source: [2]: "European Union (EU) legislation requires most additives used in foods to be labelled clearly in the list of ingredients, with their function, followed by either their name or E number. An E number means that it has passed safety tests and has been approved for use here and in the rest of the EU."
  • [3]: Additives and flavourings must always be labelled on the packaging of food products by their category (anti-oxidant, preservative, colour, etc) with their name or E-number.


  • source: [4] (June 2016) Food additives in most packaged food must be listed in the statement of ingredients on the label. Most food additives must be listed by their class name followed by the name of the food additive or the food additive number, for example, Colour (Caramel I) or Colour (150a). Enzymes and most flavourings (or flavour) do not need to be named or identified by a food additive number and can be labelled by their class name only.


  • [5] Food manufacturers are required to list all ingredients in the food on the label. On a product label, the ingredients are listed in order of predominance, with the ingredients used in the greatest amount first, followed in descending order by those in smaller amounts. The label must list the names of any FDA-certified color additives (e.g., FD&C Blue No. 1 or the abbreviated name, Blue 1). But some ingredients can be listed collectively as "flavors," "spices," "artificial flavoring," or in the case of color additives exempt from certification, "artificial colors", without naming each one. Declaration of an allergenic ingredient in a collective or single color, flavor, or spice could be accomplished by simply naming the allergenic ingredient in the ingredient list.
Flavors and Spices, Add specific flavors (natural and synthetic), Pudding and pie fillings, gelatin dessert mixes, cake mixes, salad dressings, candies, soft drinks, ice cream, BBQ sauce Natural flavoring, artificial flavor, and spices
Flavor Enhancers, Enhance flavors already present in foods (without providing their own separate flavor), Many processed foods Monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed soy protein, autolyzed yeast extract, disodium guanylate or inosinate

I will do a bit more digging and see what I can come up with. Input from fellow editors who might be experts on this subject would be welcome :-) Thanks Jtbobwaysf (talk) 07:57, 18 November 2017 (UTC)