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Food Additives; Definition, Classification and E Codes

Food additives are added to food during the preparation of food to achieve different purposes such as correcting, improving, protecting, suppressing the structural, sensory and nutritional properties of food or extending the shelf life of the food.

Food additives are substances that are not consumed as food alone but are not harmful to health when consumed. In addition, not directly added to the food, but put into the package; some substances that act as moisture or oxygen scavengers are also accepted as food additives.

In fact, the use of food additives has a long history. Adding salt (dried meat)[1], sugar (jam) or sulfur dioxide (wine) to preserve food; Applications such as adding spices to increase the flavor or suppress the unpleasant taste and smoking the foods are the methods that have been applied for thousands of years.

As of the 19th century, the development of science and the food industry has greatly increased and diversified the purposes of the use of food additives and the number of substances used as additives.

Food additives, which were used for certain purposes such as preserving food or improving flavor, have a wide range of uses today.

The most important feature that a food additive should have is that its consumption is not harmful to health. Therefore, in order for a substance that can improve any feature of the food to be used as a food additive, it must first be proven experimentally that it does not pose a health negative effect and that it can be consumed safely.

Today, the diversification of usage purposes, the high number of additives used and the fact that new ones are being produced day by day have made it difficult to classify food additives. The classification of food additives is handled in different ways by different institutions and scientists.

There is no generally accepted common classification yet. In the research, it has been observed that the most reasonable and comprehensive classification was made by the FDA (American Food and Drug Administration).

In the Turkish Food Codex (TFC), food additives are classified into 27 groups. While this number reaches 40 in some classifications, it is reduced to 5 in some classifications.[2]

According to FDA, food additives are classified into 18 groups;

1. Preservatives,

2. Sweeteners,

3. Color additives,

4. Flavors and spices,

5. Flavor enhancers,

6. Fat replacers,

7. Nutrients,

8. Emulsifiers,

9. Stabilizers, thickeners, binders, Texturizers,

10. pH Control agents and acidulants,

11. Leavening agents,

12. Anti-caking agents,

13. Humectants,

14. Yeast nutrients,

15. Dough strengtheners and conditioners,

16. Firming agents,

17. Enzyme preparations,

18. Gases

E Codes List of Food Additives

The E Code is the systematic nomenclature given to food additives by the European Union. In this way, each additive has an E-code name. The table below shows the codes of food additives according to the E code system;

E CodeName
E 100Curcumin
E 101Riboflavins
E 102Tartrazine
E 104Quinoline yellow
E 110Sunset yellow fcf / orange yellow s
E 120Carminic acid, Carmine
E 122Azorubine, carmosine
E 123Amaranth
E 124Ponzo 4r, cochineal red a
E 127Erythrosine
E 129Allura red ac
E 131Patent blue v
E 132Indigotine, Indigo carmine
E 133Brilliant blue fcf
E 140Chlorophylls and chlorophyllins
E 141Copper complexes of chlorophylls and chlorophyllins
E 142Green S
E 150aPlain caramel
E 150bCaustic sulfide caramel
E 150cAmmonia caramel
E 150dAmmonium sulfide caramel
E 151Brilliant black pn
E 153Vegetable carbon
E 155Brown HT
E 160aCarotenes
E 160b (i)Anatto biksin
E 160b (ii)Anatto norbicin
E 160cPaprika extract, capsanthine, capsorubin
E 160dLycopene
E 160eBeta-apo-8′-carotenal (C 30)
E 161bLutein
E 161gCanthaxanthin
E 162Beetroot red, betanin
E 163Anthocyanins
E 170Calcium carbonate
E 172Iron oxides and hydroxides
E 173Aluminum
E 174Silver
E 175Gold
E 180Litolrubin BK
E 420Sorbitols
E 421Mannitol
E 950Acesulfame K
E 951Aspartame
E 952Cyclamates
E 953Isomalt
E 954Saccharines
E 955Sucralose
E 957Thaumatin
E 959Neohesperidin DC
E 960aSteviol glycosides from stevia
E 960cEnzymatically produced steviol glycosides
E 961Neotame
E 962Aspartame-Acesulfame salt
E 964Polyglycitol syrup
E 965Maltitols
E 966Lactitol
E 967Xylitol
E 968Erythritol
E 969Advantam
E 170Calcium carbonate
E 172Iron oxides and hydroxides
E 200Sorbic acid
E 202Potassium sorbate
E 210Benzoic acid
E 211Sodium benzoate
E 212Potassium benzoate
E 213Calcium benzoate
E 214Ethyl-p-hydroxybenzoate
E 215Sodium ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E 218Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E 219Sodium methyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E 220Sulfur dioxide
E 221Sodium sulfide
E 222Sodium hydrogen sulfide
E 223Sodium metabisulphite
E 224Potassium metabisulfite
E 226Calcium sulfide
E 227Calcium hydrogen sulfide
E 228Potassium hydrogen sulfide
E 234Nisin
E 235Natamycin
E 239Hexamethylene tetramine
E 242Dimethyl dicarbonate
E 243Ethyl laurol arginate
E 249Potassium nitrite
E 250Sodium nitrite
E 251Sodium nitrate
E 252Potassium nitrate
E 260Acetic acid
E 261Potassium acetates
E 262Sodium acetates
E 263Calcium acetate
E 270Lactic acid
E 280Propionic acid
E 281Sodium propionate
E 282Calcium propionate
E 283Potassium propionate
E 284Boric acid
E 285Sodium tetraborate (borax)
E 290Carbon dioxide
E 296Malic acid
E 297Fumaric acid
E 300Ascorbic acid
E 301Sodium ascorbate
E 302Calcium ascorbate
E 304Fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid
E 306Tocopherol-rich extract
E 307Alpha-tocopherol
E 308Gamma-tocopherol
E 309Delta-tocopherol
E 310Propyl gallate
E 315Erythorbic acid
E 316Sodium erythorbate
E 319Reversible-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ)
E 320Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
E 321Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
E 322Lecithins
E 325Sodium lactate
E 326Potassium lactate
E 327Calcium lactate
E 330Citric acid
E 331Sodium citrates
E 332Potassium citrates
E 333Calcium citrates
E 334Tartaric acid (L(+)-)
E 335Sodium tartrates
E 336Potassium tartrates
E 337Sodium potassium tartrate
E 338Phosphoric acid
E 339Sodium phosphates
E 340Potassium phosphates
E 341Calcium phosphates
E 343Magnesium phosphates
E 350Sodium malates
E 351Potassium malate
E 352Calcium malates
E 353Metatartaric acid
E 354Calcium tartrate
E 355Adipic acid
E 356Sodium adipate
E 357Potassium adipate
E 363Succinic acid
E 380Triammonium citrate
E 385Calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetra-acetate (Calcium disodium EDTA)
E 392Rosemary extracts
E 400Alginic acid
E 401Sodium alginate
E 402Potassium alginate
E 403Ammonium alginate
E 404Calcium alginate
E 405Propane-1, 2-diol alginate
E 406Agar
E 407aProcessed eucheuma seaweed
E 407Carrageenan
E 410Locust bean gum
E 412Guar gum
E 413Tragacanth / Tragacanth scale
E 414Gum arabic (acacia scale)
E 415Xanthan scale
E 416Karaya gum
E 417Tara gum
E 418Jellan gum
E 422Glycerol
E 423Octenyl succinic acid modified with gum arabic
E 425Konjac
E 426Soybean hemicellulose
E 427Cassia gum / Cassia gum
E 431Polyoxyethylene (40) stearate
E 432Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate (polysorbate 20)
E 433Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate (polysorbate 80)
E 434Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monopalmitate (polysorbate 40)
E 435Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate (polysorbate 60)
E 436Polyoxyethylene sorbitan tristearate (polysorbate 65)
E 440Pectins
E 442Ammonium phosphatides
E 444Sucrose acetate isobutyrate
E 445Glycerol esters of tree resin
E 450Diphosphates
E 451Triphosphates
E 452Polyphosphates
E 456Potassium polyaspartate
E 459Beta-cyclodextrin
E 460Cellulose
E 461Methyl cellulose
E 462Ethyl cellulose
E 463Hydroxypropyl cellulose
E 463aLow substituted hydroxypropyl cellulose (L-HPC)
E 464Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose
E 465Ethyl methyl cellulose
E 466Sodium carboxy methyl cellulose, Cellulose gum
E 468Cross-linked sodium carboxy methyl cellulose, cross-linked cellulose gum
E 469Enzymatic hydrolyzed carboxy methyl cellulose, Enzymatic hydrolyzed cellulose gum
E 470aSodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids
E 470bMagnesium salts of fatty acids
E 471Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E 472aAcetic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E 472bLactic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E 472cCitric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E 472dTartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E 472eMono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E 472fEsters of tartaric and acetic acid mixtures of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E 473Sucrose esters of fatty acids
E 474Sucroglycerides
E 475Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids
E 476Polyglycerol polyricinoleate
E 477Propane-1,2-diol esters of fatty acids
E 479bSoybean oil, oxidized by heat treatment, reacted with mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E 481Sodium stearol-2-lactylate
E 482Calcium stearol-2-lactylate
E 483Stearyl tartrate
E 491Sorbitan monostearate
E 492Sorbitan tristearate
E 493Sorbitan monolaurate
E 494Sorbitan monooleate
E 495Sorbitan monopalmitate
E 499Plant sterols rich in stigmasterol
E 500Sodium carbonates
E 501Potassium carbonates
E 503Ammonium carbonates
E 504Magnesium carbonates
E 507Hydrochloric acid
E 508Potassium chloride
E 509Calcium chloride
E 511Magnesium chloride
E 512Stannous chloride
E 513Sulfuric acid
E 514Sodium sulfates
E 515Potassium sulfates
E 516Calcium sulfate
E 517Ammonium sulfate
E 520Aluminum sulfate
E 521Aluminum sodium sulfate
E 522Aluminum potassium sulfate
E 523Aluminum ammonium sulfate
E 524Sodium hydroxide
E 525Potassium hydroxide
E 526Calcium hydroxide
E 527Ammonium hydroxide
E 528Magnesium hydroxide
E 529Quicklime
E 530Magnesium oxide
E 534İron tartrate
E 535Sodium ferrocyanide
E 536Potassium ferrocyanide
E 538Calcium ferrocyanide
E 541Sodium aluminum phosphate acidic
E 551Silicon dioxide
E 552Calcium silicate
E 553aMagnesium silicate
E 553bTalc
E 554Sodium aluminum silicate
E 555Potassium aluminum silicate
E 570Fatty acids
E 574Gluconic acid
E 575Glucono-delta-lactone
E 576Sodium gluconate
E 577Potassium gluconate
E 578Calcium gluconate
E 579Ferrogluconate
E 585Ferro lactate
E 5864-hexylresorcinol
E 620Glutamic acid
E 621Monosodium glutamate
E 622Monopotassium glutamate
E 623Calcium diglutamate
E 624Monoammonium glutamate
E 625Magnesium diglutamate
E 626Guanylic acid
E 627Disodium guanylate
E 628Dipotassium guanylate
E 629Calcium guanylate
E 630İnosinic acid
E 631Disodium inosinate
E 632Dipotassium inosinate
E 633Calcium inosinate
E 634Calcium 5′-ribonucleotides
E 635Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides
E 640Glycine and sodium salts
E 641L-leucine
E 650Zinc acetate
E 900Dimethyl polysiloxane
E 901Beeswax, white and yellow
E 902Candelila wax
E 903Carnauba wax
E 904Shellac
E 905Microcrystalline wax
E 907Hydrogenated poly-1-decene
E 914Oxidized polyethylene wax
E 920L-cysteine
E 927bCarbamide
E 938Argon
E 939Helium
E 941Nitrogen
E 942Nitrous oxide
E 943aButane
E 943bIsobutane
E 944Propane
E 948Oxygen
E 949Hydrogen
E 999Kuilaya extract
E 1103Invertase
E 1105Lysozyme
E 1200Polydextrose
E 1201Polyvinylpyrrolidone
E 1202Polyvinylpolypyrrolidone
E 1204Pullulan
E 1205Basic methacrylate copolymer
E 1206Neutral methacrylate copolymer
E 1207Anionic methacrylate copolymer
E 1208Polyvinylpyrrolidone-vinyl acetate copolymer
E 1209Polyvinyl alcohol-polyethylene glycol-grafted-copolymer
E 1404Oxidized starch
E 1410Monostarch phosphate
E 1412Dinistarch phosphate
E 1413Phosphated distarch phosphate
E 1414Acetylated distarch phosphate
E 1420Acetylated starch
E 1422Acetylated distarch adipate
E 1440Hydroxypropyl starch
E 1442Hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate
E 1450Starch sodium octenyl succinate
E 1451Acetylated oxidized starch
E 1452Starch Aluminum octenyl succinate
E 1505Triethyl citrate
E 1517Glyceryl diacetate (diacetin)
E 1518Glyceryl triacetate (triacetin)
E 1519Benzyl alcohol
E 1520Propane-1, 2-diol (propylene glycol)
E 1521Polyethylene glycol

[1] In order for salt and sugar to act as a preservative rather than being used for flavor, they must be present at least 8% in the food. The protective effect is achieved by increasing the osmotic pressure and thus disrupting the cell physiology of the microorganism in an intense environment. They are generally used in ratios of 1-4% for flavor purposes. Therefore, salt or sugar added for flavoring is not sufficient to have a preservative effect and does not have a preservative effect on food.

[2] The classification of additives according to the Turkish Food Codex is as follows; 1. Sweeteners, 2. Colorants, 3. Preservatives, 4. Antioxidants, 5. Carriers, 6. Acids, 7. Acidity regulators, 8. Anti-caking agents, 9. Antifoaming agents, 10. Volume enhancers, 11. Emulsifiers, 12. Emulsifying salts, 13. Hardeners, 14. Flavor enhancers, 15. Foaming agents, 16. Gelling agents, 17. Brighteners, 18. Humidifiers, 19. Modified starches, 20. Packaging gases, 21. Propellant gases, 22. Fluff agents, 23. Metal fastener agents, 24. Stabilizers, 25. Thickeners, 26. Flour processing materials, 27. Contrast enhancers.

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