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E numbers

These are a list of additives currently permitted in food in the European Union and their E numbers.

Additives are listed in groups for ease of reference.

For more information on sources, specifications and the use of these additives contact www.foodstandards.gov.uk/foodlabelling/additivesbranch/enumberlist

There are around 30,000 regularly-used ingredients that have never been tested for their overall effect on humans - these include basics such as salt (sodium chloride), vinegar (acetic acid) and pepper. This is because, as they were in common use before 1981, they escaped scrutiny. The EU now has its eyes on these substances, and first of all wants to test them - this would follow by manufacturers having to list them on their labels.

See 'E numbers, Colours'; 'E numbers, Preservatives'; 'E numbers, Antioxidants'; 'E numbers, Sweeteners'; 'E numbers, Emulsifiers etc'; 'E numbers, Acid, acidity regulators etc'

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