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E numbers are harmfull

E numbers are harmfull

E numbers are harmfull

Most E numbers in food are bad, there is no doubt of that. This article gives a specific list of substances that are banned in certain countries, and others that are known to provoke allergic reactions in sensitive people.

E numbers ("E" stands for "Europe") are codes for substances used as food additives for use within the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Commonly found on food labels, their safety assessment and approval are the responsibility of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Having a single unified list for food additives was first agreed upon in 1962 with food colouring. In 1964, the directives for preservatives were added, in 1970 antioxidants were added, in 1974 emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents were added as well.

In some European countries, "E number" is sometimes used informally as a pejorative term for artificial food additives, and products may promote themselves as "free of E numbers". This is incorrect, because many components of natural foods have assigned E numbers (and the number is a synonym for the chemical component).

Health specialists around the world are becoming increasingly convinced that the additives in processed foods are firmly linked to the dramatic rise in Children's Allergies. However, despite mounting evidence, there has been very few restrictions placed on the food manufacturers in the UK and the USA.

Some countries have displayed a more responsible attitude and, as you will see from the lists below, have banned certain substances. Particular attention has been paid to infants and children's products because their immature organs are less efficient at removing such toxins from their systems. Unfortunately, it makes frightening reading.

Please note that when reading the following lists, if a substance is shown as being banned in several countries, it means that the adverse effects are too numerous to list. These E numbers should be avoided AT ALL TIMES. Any substance marked with * means that it is derived from animals (mostly pigs) and should be avoided if a child has pork allergies.

Colourant E numbers banned in some countries:
E102 Tartrazine, yellow colourant - used in all manner of foodstuffs
E104 Quinoline Yellow - used in all manner of foodstuffs and to colour medicines
E107 Yellow 7G - used in soft drinks
E110* Sunset Yellow FCF, Orange Yellow S - used in all manner of foodstuffs and medications
E120* Cochineal, red colour
E123 Amaranth - in cake mixes, fruit flavoured fillings, jelly crystals
E124 Ponceau 4R, Cochineal RedA
E127 Erythrosine red colourant - glace cherries, canned fruit, custard mix, sweets, snack foods
E128 Red 2G
E129 Allura red AC - in sweets, drinks and medications
E131 Patent blue V
E132* Indigotine, Indigo carmine - ice cream, sweets, baked goods, confectionery, biscuits
E133 Brilliant blue FCF - dairy products, sweets and drinks
E142 Green S - canned peas, mint jelly and sauce, packet bread crumbs and cake mixes
E151 Brilliant Black BN, Black PN - brown sauces, blackcurrant cake mixes
E153* black colourant used in jams, jelly crystals and liquorice
E155 brown HT (chocolate) used in chocolate cake mixes
E160(c)* Paprika extract
E173 Aluminium colourant
E174 Silver colourant
E175 Gold colourant
E180 Latolrubine BK

Preservative E numbers banned in some countries:
E214 Ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E215 Sodium ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E217 sodium propyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E219 Sodium methyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E226 Calcium sulphite
E227 Calcium hydrogen sulphite
E228 Potassium hydrogen sulphite
E230 Biphenyl, Diphenyl
E231 Orthophenyl phenol
E232 Sodium orthophenyl phenol
E233 Thiabendazole
E236 Formic acid
E237 Sodium formate
E238 Calcium formate
E239 Hexamethylene tetramine
E249 Potassium nitrite
E252* Potassium nitrite

Acids, antioxidants and mineral salts E numbers banned in certain countries:
E310, E311, E312 - various gallates used in oils, fats and salad dressings
E320 Butylated hydroxyl-anisole (BHA)
E363 Succinic acid
E370 1,4-Heptonolactone
E385 Calcium disodium EDTA

Vegetable gums, Emulsifiers and Stabiliser E numbers banned in certain countries:
E420 Sorbitol
E421 Mannitol
E432* Polysorbate 20
E434* Polysorbate 40
E463 Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose
E470* Fatty acids salts
E474* Sucroglycerides
E483* Stearyl tartrate
E493* Sorbitan monolaurate
E494* Sorbitan mono-oleate
E495* Sorbitan monopalmitate

Mineral salts and anti-caking agents E numbers banned in some countries:
E513 Sulphuric acid
E524 Sodium hydroxide
E525 Potassium hydroxide
E527 Ammonium hydroxide
E528 Magnesium hydroxide
E530 Magnesium oxide
E540 Dicalcium diphosphate
E541 Sodium aluminium phosphate
E544 Calcium polyphosphates
E545 Ammonium polyphosphates
E553(a) Magnesium silicates
E576 Sodium gluconate

Flavour enhancer E numbers banned in some countries:
E626, E627, E629 - various guanylates
E635* Disodium 5'-ribonucleotide - flavoured crisps, instant noodles, pies

Miscellaneous E numbers banned in some countries
E907* Refined microcrystalline wax - sweets, dried fruit.
E927 Azodicarbonamide
E952 Cyclamic acid - artificial sweetener
E954 Saccharines - artificial sweetener

E numbers, not in the banned lists, that are believed to cause allergic reactions ranging from Hyperactivity to asthma, migraines, rashes and digestive upsets:
E120* Cochineal, Carminic acid - red colourant
E150(a), (b), (c), (d) - caramel colourants
E160(b) Annatto - used to dye cheese, butter, margarine, cereals, snack foods
E210* Benzoic acid - preservative in baked goods, cheeses, gum, ice creams, relishes, soft sweets, cordials
E211 Sodium benzoate - orange soft drinks, milk and meat products, relishes, baked goods, ice lollies and lollipops and in medications
E212 Potassium benzoate - as E211
E220 Sulphur dioxide - soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, potato products.
E221, E222, E223, E224, E225 - as E220
E235 Natamycin - meat, cheese
E249, E250, E252* - various nitrites used in the preservation of meat
E280, E281, E282, E283 - various propionates used in bread and flour products
E296 Malic acid
E319 Tert-ButylHydroQuinone
E320 Butylated hydroxyl-anisole
E412 Guar Gum
E413 Tragacanth
E414 Acacia
E416 Karaya Gum
E441* Gelatine
E620* Glutamic acid - flavour enhancer
E621 Monosodium glutamate - flavour enhancer
E951* Aspartame - artificial sweetener
E967 Xylitol - used in low-calorie foods

Please note that the above lists are not comprehensive in that they do not include E numbers that relate specifically to Lactose Intolerance or gluten intolerance in children. If your child has been diagnosed with those conditions, then your GP should have given you a list of E numbers to avoid.