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E Numbers are codes used in food production to denote additives. The 'E' stands for Europe and signifies that these additives are approved for use across Europe.

E Numbers are often thought of as being bad for you to consume, however some natural ingredients e.g. Vitamin C (E300) are also classed as an E Number.

The list below is not entirely complete but contains the most common additives used in food and medicine production. This list may be useful when teaching about food additives and health.

Code Name Purpose
E100 Curcumin, turmeric food colouring
E101 Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), formerly called lactoflavin (Vitamin G) food colouring
E101a Riboflavin-5'-Phosphate food colouring
E102 Tartrazine (FD&C Yellow 5) food colouring
E103 Chrysoine resorcinol food colouring
E104 Quinoline Yellow WS food colouring
E105 Fast Yellow AB food colouring
E106 Riboflavin-5-Sodium Phosphate food colouring
E107 Yellow 2G food colouring
E110 Sunset Yellow FCF, Orange Yellow S, FD&C Yellow 6 food colouring
E111 Orange GGN food colouring
E120 Cochineal, Carminic acid, Carmines, Natural Red 4 food colouring
E121 Citrus Red 2 food colouring
E122 Carmoisine, Azorubine food colouring
E123 Amaranth (FD&C Red 2) food colouring
E124 Ponceau 4R, Cochineal Red A, Brilliant Scarlet 4R food colouring
E125 Ponceau SX, Scarlet GN food colouring
E126 Ponceau 6R food colouring
E127 Erythrosine (FD&C Red 3) food colouring
E128 Red 2G food colouring
E129 Allura Red AC (FD&C Red 40) food colouring
E130 Indanthrene blue RS food colouring
E131 Patent Blue V food colouring
E132 Indigo carmine, FD&C Blue 2 food colouring
E133 Brilliant Blue FCF (FD&C Blue 1) food colouring
E140 Chlorophylls and Chlorophyllins: (i) Chlorophylls (ii) Chlorophyllins food colouring
E141 Copper complexes of chlorophylls and chlorophyllins (i) Copper complexes of chlorophylls (ii) Copper complexes of chlorophyllins food colouring
E142 Green S food colouring
E143 Fast Green FCF (FD&C Green 3) food colouring
E150a Plain caramel food colouring
E150b Caustic sulfite caramel food colouring
E150c Ammonia caramel food colouring
E150d Sulphite ammonia caramel food colouring
E151 Black PN, Brilliant Black BN food colouring
E152 Black 7984 food colouring
E153 Carbon black, Vegetable carbon food colouring
E154 Brown FK, Kipper Brown food colouring
E155 Brown HT, Chocolate brown HT food colouring
E160a Alpha-carotene, Beta-carotene, Gamma-carotene food colouring
E160b Annatto, bixin, norbixin food colouring
E160c Paprika extract, Capsanthin, capsorubin food colouring
E160d Lycopene food colouring
E160e Beta-apo-8'-carotenal (C 30) food colouring
E160f Ethyl ester of beta-apo-8'-carotenic acid (C 30) food colouring
E161a Flavoxanthin food colouring
E161b Lutein food colouring
E161c Cryptoxanthin food colouring
E161d Rubixanthin food colouring
E161e Violaxanthin food colouring
E161f Rhodoxanthin food colouring
E161g Canthaxanthin food colouring
E161h Zeaxanthin food colouring
E161i Citranaxanthin food colouring
E161j Astaxanthin food colouring
E162 Beetroot Red, Betanin food colouring
E163 Anthocyanins food colouring
E170 Calcium carbonate, Chalk food colouring
E171 Titanium dioxide food colouring
E172 Iron oxides and hydroxides food colouring
E173 Aluminium food colouring
E174 Silver food colouring
E175 Gold food colouring
E180 Pigment Rubine, Lithol Rubine BK food colouring
E181 Tannin food colouring
E182 Orcein, Orchil food colouring
E200 Sorbic acid preservative
E201 Sodium sorbate preservative
E202 Potassium sorbate preservative
E203 Calcium sorbate preservative
E209 Heptyl p-hydroxybenzoate preservative
E210 Benzoic acid preservative
E211 Sodium benzoate preservative
E212 Potassium benzoate preservative
E213 Calcium benzoate preservative
E214 Ethylparaben (ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate) preservative
E215 Sodium ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate preservative
E216 Propylparaben (propyl para-hydroxybenzoate) preservative
E217 Sodium propyl para-hydroxybenzoate preservative
E218 Methylparaben (methyl para-hydroxybenzoate) preservative
E219 Sodium methyl para-hydroxybenzoate preservative
E220 Sulphur dioxide preservative
E221 Sodium sulphite preservative
E222 Sodium bisulphite (sodium hydrogen sulphite) preservative
E223 Sodium metabisulphite preservative
E224 Potassium metabisulphite preservative
E225 Potassium sulphite preservative
E226 Calcium sulphite preservative
E227 Calcium hydrogen sulphite (preservative) firming agent
E228 Potassium hydrogen sulphite preservative
E230 Biphenyl, diphenyl preservative
E231 Orthophenyl phenol preservative
E232 Sodium orthophenyl phenol preservative
E233 Thiabendazole preservative
E234 Nisin preservative
E235 Natamycin, Pimaracin preservative
E236 Formic acid preservative
E237 Sodium formate preservative
E238 Calcium formate preservative
E239 Hexamine (hexamethylene tetramine) preservative
E240 Formaldehyde preservative
E242 Dimethyl dicarbonate preservative
E249 Potassium nitrite preservative
E250 Sodium nitrite preservative
E251 Sodium nitrate preservative
E252 Potassium nitrate (Saltpetre) preservative
E260 Acetic acid (preservative) acidity regulator
E261 Potassium acetate (preservative) acidity regulator
E262 Sodium acetates (i) Sodium acetate (ii) Sodium hydrogen acetate (sodium diacetate) preservative, acidity regulator
E263 Calcium acetate (preservative) acidity regulator
E264 Ammonium acetate preservative
E265 Dehydroacetic acid preservative
E266 Sodium dehydroacetate preservative
E270 Lactic acid (preservative) (acid) antioxidant
E280 Propionic acid preservative
E281 Sodium propionate preservative
E282 Calcium propionate preservative
E283 Potassium propionate preservative
E284 Boric acid preservative
E285 Sodium tetraborate (borax) preservative
E290 Carbon dioxide acidity regulator
E296 Malic acid (acid) acidity regulator
E297 Fumaric acid acidity regulator
E300 Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) antioxidant
E301 Sodium ascorbate antioxidant
E302 Calcium ascorbate antioxidant
E303 Potassium ascorbate antioxidant
E304 Fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid (i) Ascorbyl palmitate antioxidant
E305 (ii) Ascorbyl stearate antioxidant
E306 Tocopherol-rich extract (natural) antioxidant
E307 Alpha-tocopherol (synthetic) antioxidant
E308 Gamma-tocopherol (synthetic) antioxidant
E309 Delta-tocopherol (synthetic) antioxidant
E310 Propyl gallate antioxidant
E311 Octyl gallate antioxidant
E312 Dodecyl gallate antioxidant
E313 Ethyl gallate antioxidant
E314 Guaiac resin antioxidant
E315 Erythorbic acid antioxidant
E316 Sodium erythorbate antioxidant
E317 Erythorbin acid antioxidant
E318 Sodium erythorbin antioxidant
E319 tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) antioxidant
E320 Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) antioxidant
E321 Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) antioxidant
E322 Lecithin emulsifier
E323 Anoxomer antioxidant
E324 Ethoxyquin antioxidant
E325 Sodium lactate acidity regulator
E326 Potassium lactate (antioxidant) acidity regulator
E327 Calcium lactate acidity regulator
E328 Ammonium lactate acidity regulator
E329 Magnesium lactate acidity regulator
E330 Citric acid acid, acidity regulator
E331 Sodium citrates (i) Monosodium citrate (ii) Disodium citrate (iii) Sodium citrate (trisodium citrate) acidity regulator
E332 Potassium citrates (i) Monopotassium citrate (ii) Potassium citrate (tripotassium citrate) acidity regulator
E333 Calcium citrates (i) Monocalcium citrate (ii) Dicalcium citrate (iii) Calcium citrate (tricalcium citrate) acidity regulator, firming agent, sequestrant
E334 Tartaric acid (L(+)-) (acid)
E335 Sodium tartrates (i) Monosodium tartrate (ii), Disodium tartrate acidity regulator
E336 Potassium tartrates (i) Monopotassium tartrate (cream of tartar) (ii) Dipotassium tartrate acidity regulator
E337 Sodium potassium tartrate acidity regulator
E338 Orthophosphoric acid acid
E339 Sodium phosphates (i) Monosodium phosphate (ii) Disodium phosphate (iii) Trisodium phosphate antioxidant
E340 Potassium phosphates (i) Monopotassium phosphate (ii) Dipotassium phosphate (iii) Tripotassium phosphate antioxidant
E341 Calcium phosphates (i) Monocalcium phosphate (ii) Dicalcium phosphate (iii) Tricalcium phosphate anti-caking agent, firming agent
E342 Ammonium phosphates: (i) Monoammonium Ortophosphate (ii) Diammonium Ortophosphate  
E343 Magnesium phosphates (i) monomagnesium phosphate (ii) Dimagnesium phosphate anti-caking agent
E344 Lecitin citrate acidity regulator
E345 Magnesium citrate acidity regulator
E349 Ammonium malate acidity regulator
E350 Sodium malates (i) Sodium malate (ii) Sodium hydrogen malate acidity regulator
E351 Potassium malate acidity regulator
E352 Calcium malates (i) Calcium malate (ii) Calcium hydrogen malate acidity regulator
E353 Metatartaric acid emulsifier
E354 Calcium tartrate emulsifier
E355 Adipic acid acidity regulator
E356 Sodium adipate acidity regulator
E357 Potassium adipate acidity regulator
E359 Ammonium adipate acidity regulator
E363 Succinic acid acidity regulator
E365 Sodium fumarate acidity regulator
E366 Potassium fumarate acidity regulator
E367 Calcium fumarate acidity regulator
E368 Ammonium fumarate acidity regulator
E370 1,4-Heptonolactone acidity regulator
E375 Niacin (nicotinic acid), Nicotinamide colour retention agent
E380 Triammonium citrate acidity regulator
E381 Ammonium ferric citrate acidity regulator
E383 Calcium glycerylphosphate acidity regulator
E384 Isopropyl citrate acidity regulator
E385 Calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetraacetate, (Calcium disodium EDTA) sequestrant
E386 Disodium ethylene diamine tetraacetate (Disodium EDTA) sequestrant
E387 Oxystearin  
E388 Thiodipropionic acid  
E389 Dilauryl thiodipropionate  
E390 Distearyl thiodipropionate  
E391 Phytic acid  
E399 Calcium lactobionate  
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
E408 Bakers yeast glycan  
E409 Arabinogalactan  
E410 Locust bean gum (Carob gum) (thickener) (stabiliser) (gelling agent) emulsifier