What are E-numbers?

E-numbers are simply a systematic way of identifying different food additives. Before a food additive is given an 'E' number it must first be cleared by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). This shows that it can be used safely in foods. An 'E' number is only given to an additive that has passed all the safety checks.

Use the list below to find out more about an E-number or food additive.

I know the E-Number


I know the name


This table shows how the E numbers refer to the different types of additives:

E-Numbers for Types of Additives
Series Function Example
E100 Colours E160a Carotene
E200 Preservatives E234 Nisin
E300 Antioxidants E307 Alpha-tocopherol
E400 + Miscellaneous E440
Pectin (stabiliser)
Sodium bicarbonate (raising agent)