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Additives and E-Numbers

Food additives are substances which are usually not consumed as a food in itself, whether or not of nutritive value, and which are intentionally added for their technological purpose.

International Numbering System for Ingredients INS- Number

[1] Labelling often uses numbers instead of the common names of the ingredients.These numbers differ from country to country. For international use the Codex Alimentarius proposes an international numbering system which largely uses the same numbers of the European Commission but without E.

EU food additives regulations

Food additives are regulate by the European Community under directives which specify the E-Numbers, their names and their use. Please see the latest regulations on food additives and their E-numbers at: Only food additives included in the Union list set out in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 may be placed on the market and used in foods under the conditions of use specified therein. The additives should be listed on the basis of the categories of food to which they may be added. [2]
The regulation of 2008 was amended in 2011 by the following regulations:
Regulation 1129/2011: Established a Union list of food additives. [3]
Regulation 1130/2011: Approved the use of food enzymes, food flavourings and nutrients. [4]
Regulation 1131/2011: Introduced amendment with regard to steviol glycosides. [5]

E-Numbers Descriptions [6]

As the European Market increases in importance throughout the world the E-numbers of the allowed ingredients are getting important and are used by the Codex Alimentarius for the International Numbering System INS. Therefore they are listed below with a short comment:
E-number Ingredient
E100 Turmeric 12.2.3
E101(i) Lactoflavin 12.2.4
E101(ii) riboflavin-5-phosphate
E102 Tartrazin 12.3.4
E104 Chinolin yellow12.2.6
E110 Sunset Yellow FCF; Orange yellow S12.2.6


Are used to improve the colour and the aspect of food being applied intern or extern on the outer layer to promote appetite, selling.
In sweet products it may fake a high content of fruit,in mayonnaise it suggests a high content of egg yolk.
Colours are used in candies, soft drinks, puddings, ice creams, liquors,margarine, cheese and seafood.
E number range Subranges Description
  100-109 yellows
  110-119 oranges
  120-129 reds
100-199 130-139 blues and violets
Colorants 140-149 greens
  150-159 browns and blacks
  160-199 gold and others

E100 Turmeric

It is the natural colour of the root of turmeric (Curcuma longa).It is the traditional ingredient of curry powder.
It may be obtained by synthesis. Its colour is yellow.

E101 (i) Lactoflavin

E101a Phosphate-5-riboflavin

Azo dyes

Azo dyes are members of a chemical group comprising the following colours:
E102 tartrazin (May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.)
E104 Chinolin yellow (May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.), E110 yellow-orange S (May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children), E122 Azorubine(May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.), E123 amaranth, E124 cochineal red red A (Ponceau 4R) (May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.), E151 brilliant black BN, E180 Lithol rubine BK, E128 red 2G, E155 brown HT. Carcinogenic activity of azo colours were found in rats were due to impurities of the colours used for the test and could not be confirmed further on. Calcium deposits in the renal pelvis was found but it could not be put in relation to the dosage of the colours.

Stability of natural food colours under production conditions

Natural colours are becoming increasingly important. The consumer is becoming consious about the natural origin of all ingredients. Some challenges using natural colours are its bulkiness when fruits and vegetable extracts are used, reduced light and heat stability, changed storage conditions, effect of pH and increased costs.

Fernández-López et al. 2013 assessed the color degradation of aqueous solutions of red pigment extracts 50° and 90°, measuring the absorbance at 535 nm to quantify the degradation process. The remaining absorbance at 535 nm after 6 h at 90° were for red cochineal 95%, elderberry 63.8%, red cabbage 46.1%, hibiscus 26.7%, red beet 12.5%, Opuntia fruits 1.7% were the most thermosensitive maintaining only 12.5 and 1.7 % of the initial absorbance. The authors underline the high thermal stability of the red cochineal extract.[7]

Unfortunately cochineal extract, known as E124 or ponceau 4R, as an azo dye, is an allergen. It may elicit intolerance in people allergic to salicylates (aspirin). Additionally, it is a histamine liberator, and may intensify symptoms of asthma. Ponceau 4R is considered carcinogenic in some countries, including the USA, Norway, and Finland, and it is currently listed as a banned substance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). EFSA has decided on 2009-09-23 to lower the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for Ponceau 4R from 4 mg/kg to 0.7 mg/kg bodyweight per day. The substance is associated with increased migration of nuclear DNA in human tissues, increased intake of lead and aluminum. [8]

Extraction conditions of natural colours influences their stability

Cisse et al. 2012 studied colour degradation of roselle extracts (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.). The authors compared the Arrhenius, Eyring and Ball models to predict colour modifications during 6 month storage at 4-45 °. The colour changed faster during storage especially when extraction with hot water and pasteurisation were used. [9]

Fermented red rice is UHT heat stabel

Fermented red rice and black carrot hat good colour stability under UHT-heating conditions, while all other red/pink natural colours were significantly sensible to UHT. Lycopene presented the lowest stability compred to red radish which was the most stable after heat treatment.. Fermented red rice was observed to be heat-stable after exposure to UHT processing and also remained relatively stable during storage, as was black carrot. Fluctuations of about 5° during processing may induce colour spoilage warn Crinó et al.2012. [10]

The colour of red wine may change during short exposure to elevated temperatures

The chemical alterations of red wine were a considerable change in the quality of wines stored for a few hours at elevated temperatures at 20 °, 25 °, 30 °, 35 °, and 40 °, compared to normal storage temperature of 14°. Higher polyphenolic content of wine helps to stabilize the product against detrimental temperature effects according to Czibulya et al. 2012. [11]

He et al. 2012 stress that monomeric anthocyanins in young red wines are important for colour and beneficial health effects of red wine. Their stability, the self-association and copigmentation increase the stability and improves the coloor of red wine during production and storage [12]

The Panel of the EFSA in a a scientific opinion related to monacolin K of fermented red rice concluded that of red yeast rice preparations help the maintenance of normal blood LDL cholesterol concentrations provided a daily dose of about 10 mg monacolin K is maintained. [13]

Citrinin is a mycotoxin originally isolated from Penicillium citrinum. It has since been found to be produced by a variety of other fungi which are found or used in the production of human foods, such as grain, cheese, sake and red pigments. Citrinin has also been found in commercial red yeast rice supplements. Gordon et al. 2010 found the presence of citrinin in one-third of the formulations of fermented red rice. The authors warns physicians to be cautious in recommending fermented red rice to their patients for the treatment of hyperlipidemia and primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease until red yeast rice products are regulated and standardized. [14] [15]

Red fermented rice (RFR) is now used as a natural colour and dietary supplement. Chen et al 2005 suggest the use of the mutant strain, Monascus spp. M12-69 instead of the vild types of Monascus yeasts used in China. The strain M12-69 can produce high monacolin and very low citrininn (2,5 mg/g monacolin K and 0,1 ng/g of citrinin dried at 50 degrees C). [16]

Amaranthus betacyanin pigments as natural food colour [17]

Harold Corke and his co-workers from the University of Hong Kong report that addition of betacyanin pigments from Amaranthus tricolour, led to pink-red noodles with good colour stability, without affecting the cooking and textural properties of cooked noodles. It also improved the protein content of the noodles. Amaranth is an approved natural colorant in China, at levels of 0.1 and 0.5 per cent. Natural red pigments in use are anthocyanins, betalains, and carotenoids sourced from berries and grapes, red beetroot, and red fruit, vegetables and flowers, respectively. Natural red colours are betacyanins, and betalains which are stable in low acid foods. The natural amaranth should not be confused with a synthetic dye that has been named "amaranth" for its similarity in color to the natural amaranth pigments known as betalains. This synthetic dye is also known as Red No. 2 in North America and E123 in the European Union. The Regulation 94/36 EC allows amarath only in bitter soda, aperitiv vines, spirit drinks with less than 15% alcohol/volume and fish roe to be coloured with amaranth E123. [18]

Amarant as feed [19]

Alfaro and colleagues 2008 report that the amaranth plant could be a useful resource for animal feeding. Dehydrated amaranth leaves and stalks in levels up to 60%, were used to replace equal amounts of alfalfa leaf meal. The authors found that amaranth leaf meal contained 17.8% protein and 12.4% crude fiber as compared with the alfalfa leaf meal which contained 22.0% protein and 23.3% crude fiber. The authors reported that amaranth leaf meal can efficiently replace alfalfa leaf meal up to 15% of the total weight of the diet, whereas growth retardation and interstitial nephrosis and edema, were observed at a 60%. The authors stress that steam treatment improves the nutritive quality of the amaranth meal.

Invasive weeds [20]

The following 9 species of Amaranthus are considered invasive and noxious weeds in the U.S and Canada: A. albus, A. blitoides, A. hybridus, A. palmeri, A. powellii, A. retroflexus, A. spinosus, A. tuberculatus, and A. viridis. A new strain of the Palmer amaranth has appeared which is Glyphosate-resistant and so cannot be killed by the widely used Roundup herbicide. Also, this plant can survive in tough conditions. This could be of particular concern to cotton farmers using Roundup Ready cotton. The species Amaranthus palmeri (Palmer amaranth) causes the greatest reduction in soybean yields. Palmer amaranth is among the "top five most troublesome weeds" in the Southeast and has already evolved resistances to dinitroanilines and acetolactate synthase inhibitors

E102 Tartrazin

It is a synthetic substance highly allergenic.His use is restricted and even forbidden in many European countries, such as Norway, Austria and UK. His colour is yellow.
Synthetic colours such as tartrazin were found in some tests to cause behaviour disturbance in overactive children. Success of therapy with colours free diet were cited. High number of other tests could not confirm these results making it controversial. Natural food such as haddock, strawberries, tomatoes, celery and honey have higher allergy potentials as tartrazin. That is why tartrazin is still allowed. [21].

POP colour as alternative to tartrazine [22]

The Institute for Agronomy Research (INRA) studies a by-product of the cider industry as a natural alternative to tartrazine. The new colour is obtained from apples and is called POP (phloridzine oxidation product)

Cider apples are rich in polyphenols forming colours as well as for the bitter and astringent flavours of ciders.

Phloridzine is a polyphenol which during the production of apple juice and cider is oxidised by polyphenoloxidase enzyme resulting in the yellow POP colour which has antioxidant properties.

POP remains stable and resistant to the majority of food production processes. It is yellow at acidity less than pH 5 and orange at pH 6. It does not stain plastic packaging, unlike hydrophobic carotenoid pigments.

Synthetic organic colours not azo dyes

It is a group with different chemical composition.
E131 patent blue V, E133 brilliant blue FCF, E 142 green S are members of the triarylmethan group. All other colours have different composition and cannot be grouped under a chemical terms:
E104 Chinolin yellow, E132 indigotin I E127 erythrosine, Erythrosine bears iodine in its structure. This iodine is liberated in the body and acts upon the thyroid gland which causes thyroid tumours on rats but not in other animals. That is why some authors would like to see the allowance of this colours withdrawn.

E104 Chinolin yellow

Synthetic substance harmless to rats and mice and dogs.The physiology in humans is unknown.It is forbidden in food in USA.It has yellow colour.

E129 Allura red AC

(May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.)

E154 brown FK

Colorants found in nature

E101 riboflavin, E101a riboflavin 5'-phosphate, E100 curcumin, turmeric oleoresin, E120 carmine, E140 chlorophyll, E141 Chlorophyll-Cu, E163 Anthocyanin, E162 betanin, red beet juice, 160a beta-carotene, alfa, gama-carotene, E160f beta-apo-8'-carotenal, E160b Bixin,norbixin, capsanthin, capsorubin, E160d lycopene, E161b lutein (xanthophyll).

Chlorophyll in ripe fruits breakdown in NCCs which are strong antioxidants [23]

According to Thomas Müller and colleagues the breakdown compounds of chlorophyll are strong antioxidants. The researchers found the reactions to be similar in leaves and in fruits. The first decomposition products are colourless, polar NCCs (nonfluorescing chlorophyll catabolytes), that contain four pyrrole rings which In ripe pears and apples, NCCs replace the chlorophyll, especially in the peel and the flesh immediately below it.

During the decomposition process chlorophyll is released from its protein complexes becoming phototoxic. At this stage it can transfer energy to oxygen which becomes highly destructive.

The NCCs compounds, on the contrary, are powerful antioxidants in plant and humans.

Curcumin [24]

Stig Bengmark looking for therapeutic agents which can modulate the inflammatory reaction , found that curcumin, a component of turmeric, to be non-toxic, to have antioxidant activity, and to inhibit such mediators of inflammation as NFB, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), lipooxygenase (LOX), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS).

According to Bengmark turmeric, an approved food additive, or its component curcumin, has shown surprisingly beneficial effects in experimental studies of acute and chronic diseases characterized by an exaggerated inflammatory reaction.

E160a beta-Carotene,alfa Carotene,gamma-Carotene

E160b Bixin, Norbixin,annatto,orleana

It is the pigment of the annatto bush. The pigment is considered to be harmless. His colour is orange.

E160c Capsanthin,Capsorubin

E160d Lycopene

It is the pigment of the red tomato, being used as tomato powder. It is also made synthetically.

E160e beta-Apo-8-carotenal

E160f beta-Apo-8-ethyl ester of carotene acid

Is found in vegetables,in fruits, and in liver. there is also a synthetic production of the pigment. It has yellow colour.

Caramel colours [25]

Caramel colours are colouring substances authorised as food additives in the EU, and are classified according to the reactants used in their manufacture as follows: Class I Plain Caramel or Caustic Caramel (E 150a); Class II Caustic Sulphite Caramel (E 150b); Class III Ammonia Caramel (E 150c) and Class IV Sulphite Ammonia Caramel (E 150d).

E150a sugar colour

Class I: Plain caramel, caustic caramel. Prepared by heating carbohydrates with or without acids or alkalis; no ammonium or sulfite compounds are used.

E150b sulfite-sugar colour

Class II: Caustic sulfite caramel. Prepared by heating carbohydrates with or without acids or alkalis in the presence of sulfite compounds; no ammonium compounds are used.

E150c ammonium sugar colour

Class III: Ammonia caramel. Prepared by heating carbohydrates with or without acids or alkalis in the presence of ammonium compounds; no sulfite compounds are used.

E150d ammonium sulfite-sugar colour

Class IV: Sulfite ammonia caramel. Prepared by heating carbohydrates with or without acids or alkalis in the presence of both sulfite and ammonium compounds.

EFSA safety report 2011 on caramel colours and their by-products [26]

Caramel colours are added to food to give a deeper shade of brown and are widely used in a large variety of foods such as non-alcoholic flavoured drinks, confectionary, soups, seasonings, and beer. They are complex mixtures of compounds produced by carefully controlled heat treatment of sugars. They are classified into four classes depending on the reagent used in their manufacture (ammonia, sulphite or no reagent), and generally known by the E numbers E150a, E150b, E150c, and E150d.

The European Food Safety Authority sets Acceptable Daily Intakes (ADIs) for all caramel colours. EFSA is concerned about the safety of by-products, such as furan and 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (5-HMF), which are formed during the manufacturing of caramel colours and vary considerably depending on the production process.

The Panel recommended to keep the levels of the by-products in caramel colours as low as technologically possible as defined in Commission Directive 2008/128/CE laying down specific purity criteria concerning colours for use in foodstuffs [27]. However, the caramel specifications which are defined there should be updated to include also maximum levels for these constituents. Purity criteria and tests on caramel colours had been developed by Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) specification for Caramel Colours. [25]

The Panel also states that caramel colours are neither genotoxic, nor carcinogenic and that there is no evidence to show that they have any adverse effects on human reproduction or for the developing child.

ADIs for caramel colours

An Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 300 mg per kg body weight per day (mg/kg bw/day) applicable to E150a, E150b, and E150d colours, and ADI of 100 mg/kg bw/day for caramel E150c. the Panel has set a more restrictive ADI for E150c considering possible effects on the immune system of one of its constituents, 2-acetyl-4-tetrahydroxibutylimidazole (THI).

The Panel also points out that adults and children who are high consumers of foods containing these colours could exceed the ADIs established for three of these colours (E150a, E150c, E150d) if they are used at the maximum levels reported by industry.

By-products of caramel colours

The scientists on the Panel also looked at other constituents resulting from the production process, namely 2-acetyl-4-tetrahydroxibutylimidazole (THI) present in E150c, and 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) present in E150c and E150d, for which EU specifications already foresee sufficient protective maximum levels for their presence in the colours.

However, the Panel considered it would be prudent to keep their levels in caramel colours as low as technologically feasible, recommending further research to reduce the formation of of these by-products during the production of caramel colours. Council Directive 89/107/EEC [28] states that all food additives must be kept under continuous observation and must be re-evaluated whenever necessary in the light of changing conditions of use and new scientific information.

According to CSPI the artificial caramel colours in colas and some other products is made by Reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole (MEI), which cause lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats [29]. Some opinions say these diseases were caused by high doses. The beverage industry says that 2-MEI and 4-MEI are everywhere and see no reason to avoid the use of such caramel colours. If its everywhere it is time to start to get out of food chain. The consumer can set a sign avoiding to drink brown cola.

Ammoniated "Caramel Colouring" E150d contaminated with cancerous 4-MI in cola beverages, says the Center for Science in the Public Interest [30]

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Diet Coke, and Diet Pepsi contain high levels of 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), a known animal carcinogen. Ammonia-sulfite caramel colouring E150d is the "caramel colouring"of colas. The carcinogen is formed when ammonia or ammonia and sulfites are used to manufacture the "caramel colouring".

The CSPI explains that in contrast to the caramel made at home by melting sugar in a saucepan, the artificial brown colouring E150d in colas is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures, resulting in the formation of 2-methylimidazole (2-MI) and 4 methylimidazole (4-MI), which cause lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukaemia in laboratory mice or rats.

What food authorities should do [31]

The CSPI asks the Food and Drug Administration to revoke the authorization for caramel colourings that contain 4-MI. The phrase "caramel coloring" is misleading when used to describe colourings made with ammonia or sulfite. Companies should not be allowed to label any products that contain such colourings as "natural,"

Carcinogen-free colour alternatives are available and some move in this direction in USA seems to take place, however, there is no will to quit the use of E150d colouring agent in Europe.

Levels of carcinogens found by CSPI [32]

Pepsi's products had 145 to 153 micrograms (mcg) of 4-MI in two 12-ounce cans. Regular Coca-Cola had 142 mcg per 12 ounces in one sample and 146 mcg in another. Diet Coke had 103 mcg per 12 ounces in one sample and 113 mcg in another. CSPI estimates that the 4-MI in the Coke and Pepsi products tested is causing about 15,000 cancers in the U.S. population.

In addition to the cancer risk, soda drinkers are much more likely than non-soda drinkers to develop weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and other health problems because of the high sugar content of non-diet products.

The US National Toxicology Program, the division of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences wrote that there is "clear evidence" that both 2-MI and 4-MI are animal carcinogens. Chemicals that cause cancer in animals are considered to pose cancer threats to humans. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found significant levels of 4-MI in five brands of cola. The CSPI urges the FDA to act quickly to revoke its approval of two caramel colourings made with ammonia.

Teenagers are at highest risk [33]

In a little-noticed regulatory proceeding in California, state health officials have added 4 MI to the state's list of "chemicals known to the state to cause cancer." Under that state's Proposition 65, foods or other products containing more than certain levels of cancer-causing chemicals must carry warning labels. For 4-MI, that level is 16 micrograms per person per day from an individual product. Popular brands of cola contain about 200 micrograms of 4-MI per 20-ounce bottle-and many people, especially teenagers, consume more than that each day.

To put the risk from caramel colouring in context, CSPI says the sugar content in a non-diet can of soda presents a greater health risk than the ammonia sulfite process caramel. But the levels of 4-MI in the tested colas still may be causing thousands of cancers in the U.S. population.

European soda producers stick to the carcinogen caramel colour E150d

Carcinogen-free colour alternatives are available and some move in this direction in USA seems to take place, however, there is no will to quit the use of E150d colouring agent in Europe. Sodas producers should keep not only their labels "clean" but also their products.

According to professor Schmähl, researcher on cancer in Heidelberg, Germany, there is no dose, even being very small, that is free of danger to cause cancer because of the effect of synergistic addition of the effects of smoke,sulphur dioxide, nitrosamines of ham, smoked salmon, all add up. So take E150d out of colas or the consumer should avoid the beverage.

European caramel colours regulated under the Directive 2008/128/EC [27]

Caramel colours are colouring substances authorised as food additives in the EU, and are grouped in four classes according to the reactants used in their manufacture and their Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) are as follows:

Class I Plain Caramel, (E 150a), containing no added ammonia or sulphite, no limit set.
Class II Caustic Sulphite Caramel, (E 150b), ADI of 0-160 mg/kg bw/day.
Class III Ammonia Caramel, (E 150c) ADI of 200 mg/kg bw/day.
Class IV Sulphite Ammonia Caramel, (E 150d), ADI of 200 mg/kg bw/day.

Maximum levels of 4-MEI and THI [34]

The maximum level of the constituent 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), found in Class III Ammonia Caramel and Class IV Sulphite Ammonia Caramel only, is restricted to < 250 mg/kg caramel. 2-acetyl-4-tetrahydroxy-butylimidazole (THI), found in Class III Ammonia Caramel only, is restricted to < 10 mg/kg caramel on a colour intensity basis.
(Both llevels are expressed on equivalent colour basis i.e. is expressed in terms of a product having a colour intensity of 0,1 absorbance units.)

The Panel noted that the caramel colours are poorly characterised, and it is not clear whether the controls on manufacturing processes are sufficient to minimise batch-to-batch variability, particularly with respect to levels of individual Low Molecular Weight (LMW) constituents. The wide range of starting materials and reactants that may be used for the production of caramel colours may result in a variety of end products, with different physical, chemical and toxicological properties.

The Panel noted that concerns about e.g. chemical composition, purity and similarity of various caramel colours have also been raised in the past by the SCF. The Panel also noted that a number of the identified or theoretical LMW constituents of caramel colours are genotoxic under certain experimental conditions and in some cases have carcinogenic potential, e.g. furan and 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (5-HMF),µg THI/kg bw/day (provided by a level of 0.4% Class III Ammonia Caramel in drinking water, in rats maintained on a low-pyridoxine diet, 2-3 mg/kg diet) to levels of 200 µg THI/kg bw/day or higher.

E161b Lutein

E162 Red beet colour, betanin, Beetroot red

Natural colour of red beet. When the concentrate of red beet juice is used as food colour specifications need to be established. Because nitrate is a component of beet red, it is necessary to ensure that levels of nitrate do not exceed the specifications, keeping in mind the need to limit the nitrate content of food produced for infants and young children.

E163 Anthocyanin

Natural colour of the skin of red grapes.

E170 calcium carbonate

E171 Titanium dioxide

There is very little known about undesired reactions of this substance.It has white colour.

E172 Iron oxides and hydroxides

Their colour vary from yellow,to red,to brown and to black.

E579 Iron gluconate

Undesired reactions are unknown.The colours are yellow , red or black.


There are no arguments against intake by healthy people. In case of Alzheimer disease aluminium should be avoided.

E174 Silver

E175 Gold

Gold and silver in high dosage are toxic.However there is no danger of poisoning because of the high price of gold and silver limiting in this way its use.The colour is silvery and golden.

E180 Rubin BK pigment

It is an azo pigment. There is very little known about its biochemical activity.

E141 Copper chlorophyll complex

This substance has green colour and is obtained by changing the magnesium radical of chlorophyll with copper.It is a risk to patients with syndrome of Wilson.An increase of the supply of copper is not advisable.

E142 Brilliant green acid

It is a synthetic substance being relatively harmless.

E239 Hexamethylene tetramine

It is a widely used substance, as medicine against gout and infections of the urinary tract.It is also a vulcanization accelerator and is used in the chemistry of explosives.In food it is a donator of formaldehyde.It was formerly used as preservative .At the moment it is used only in some kind of cheese.


Natamycin(it is also called pimaricin) is an antibiotic used in infections of mouth,foot and genitals. It is employed in food industry to treat the shell of cheese. Resistance against this antibiotic will soon be established in bacteria coming in contact with it.His use should therefore be forbidden in food industry


Antioxidants are used to improve the shelf life of food interfering in the reaction of oxygen with different components of food avoiding their chemical decomposition. They are used in soups,sauces in powder, chewing gum,dried products of potatoes in margarine, salad oil and icecream.

Chemical preservatives

The chemical preservatives may prolong the shelf life of food retarding the growth of bacteria and moulds.
The use of chemical preservatives enables the careless hygienic conditions by the processing of food.
Chemical preservatives are used with fish products of all types, fruit juices, soft drinks, pastries, salads, margarine, sauces, vines , dried fruits, citric fruits, bananas, desiccated vegetables, sugar etc.
E number range Subranges Description
  200-209 sorbates
  210-219 benzoates
  220-229 sulphites
  230-239 phenols and formates (methanoates)
200-299 240-259 nitrates
Preservatives 260-269 acetates (ethanoates)
  270-279 lactates
  280-289 propionates (propanoates)
  290-299 others

E200 Sorbic acid

E202 Potassium sorbate

E203 Calcium sorbate

Sorbic acid and his salts are considered as harmless because they are metabolised in human body like fatty acids.
They may produce adverse taste in food, specially in bread.

E210 Benzoic acid

E211 Sodium benzoate

E212 Potassium benzoate

E213 Calcium benzoate

The benzoic acid and their salts causes frequent allergy (asthma, urticaria) Cats are very sensible to benzoic acid. Even a very low concentration of 5 ppm may be mortal for cats (permitted in food are concentrations of sorbic acid up to 2500 ppm in herring salads and up to 4000 ppm in salmon products.Avoid to give these foods to your pets).
In combination with sorbic acid and E227 calcium hydrogen sulfit the undesired reactions are potentiated.

E214 Ethyl-p-hydroxi benzoate

E215 PHB-ethyl ester sodium salt

PHB-propyl ester

E217 PHB-propyl ester

E218 PHB- methyl ester

E219 PHB-methyl ester,sodium salt

The esters of PHB cause frequently allergies.They act as vascular dilating and were indicated as anesthesics for frogs.
His antispastic action exceeds the action of sodium benzoate by one hundred times.
In high dosage they retard the growing of rats.

E220 Sulphur dioxide

E221 Sodium sulphide

E222 Sodium hydrogen sulphite

E223 Sodium metabisulfite

E224 Potassium metabisulfite

E226 Calcium sulphide

E227 Calcium bisulphide

E228 potassium bisulphide

. Dioxides and sulphites liberating sulfur dioxide may cause headache and vomits.This is noted after drinking vine.They destroy vitamin B1 and may produce asthma attack.Sulphur dioxide is a typical pollution of nature being directly responsible for the dying of trees and pseudocroup disease.

E230 Biphenyl

E231 Ortophenylphenol

E232 Sodium ortophenyphenol

E233 Thiabendazol

Are substances used as antifungal on citric fruitsand promote cancer of the bladder in animals, being very strong in combination of E232 and E233. Thiabendazol is used in medicine and also in agriculture as pesticide.It is being frequently used to impregnate paper used to wrap up fruits. Avoid children playing with this paper or even putting in contact with the mouth.

E234 Nisin

The food preservative nisin has anti-cancer properties [35]

Nisin, a bacteriocin is used as food preservative, mainly in dairy products. Joo et al. 2012 report that this antimicrobial peptide may be used to treat head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Nisin induces cancer cell death, cell cycle arrest, and reduces cell proliferation in squamous cancer cells. Nisin triggers a cation transport regulator protein (CHACI) in cancer cells which causes the cancer cell to die. Additionally nisin promotes the flow of extracellular calcium to the inside of the diseased cell acting as a regulator of cell cycle.

E235 Natamycin

E236 Formic acid

(Not allowed as food ingredient.)

E237 Sodium formate

(Not allowed as food ingredient)

E238 Calcium formate

(Not allowed as food ingredient) Formic acid and their salts may be metabolised in the body.Undesired reactions only with high levels.

E242 Dimethyl carbonate

E249 Potassium nitrite

E250 Sodium nitrite

E251 Sodium nitrate

E252 Potassium nitrate

E 270 Lactic acid

. E270 stands for both (left or right) optical active forms.

E280 Propionic acid

E281 Sodium propionate

E282 Calcium propionate

E283 Potassium propionate

Propionic acid is a natural compound of food being found in very small quantities.It produces cancer on the antestomach of rats.

According to the health authorities it is not significant to human because we do not have an antestomach.Propionic acid and their salts are used as preservative in bread.

Sorbic acid could become an ideal replacement for calcium propionate as mould inhibitor, being thus a cost-saving method to keep bread fresh and mould-free for a couple of weeks.

Sorbic acid can not generally be used as a suitable alternative as it destroys yeast. The process works by coating the sorbic acid within an invisible microfilm of vegetable fat to create a free flowing powder that can easily be blended with dry ingredients prior to baking.

A controlled release mechanism ensures the sorbic acid is not released from its encapsulate until the bread is baked past 60°, after the yeast has finished working.

Preservatives in bread can be avoided as special care during production can achieve a reasonable shelf life. Cost cutting on cleaning and maintenance of the production line and reheating after packaging makes the use of preservatives and obscure microencapsulated ingredients attractive. Bread should be produced as natural as possible.

E284 Boric acid

E285 Sodium tetraborate (borax)

New preservative for meat products, non-alcoholic beverages energy and sport drinks [36]

The new preservative ethyl lauroyl arginate is awaiting approval in March by the European Commission.

The application, Spain's Laboratorios Miret SA (LAMIRSA), originally proposed to EFSA that the preservative be used in non alcoholic beverages made with fruit juice, energy and sports drinks, and meat products, at a dosage of 115 to 225 ppm. However EFSA saw that this dosage would mean the potential exposure to the chemical could be at or above the ADI of 0.5mg per kg of bodyweight per day.

Safety concerns

Studies in different rat strains and sexes showed that there was a consistent effect on white blood cell counts.

Experts speaking for LAMIRSA, the company the preservative, say that "the data is toxicologically not significant since the observed effects are inconsistent between the studies considered and did not demonstrate a dose-effect relationship", and the effects on white blood cells were not accompanied by changes to the tissue in any of the studies. Ethyl lauroyl arginate has been generally recognised as safe (GRAS) in the US since 2005, at levels up to up to 200 mg of the active ingredient ethyl-Nalfa-lauroyl-Larginate HCl /kg. Last year JECFA recognised it as a food additive and allocated an ADI of 0-4 mg/kg bw, and the additive was recently approved in Australia and New Zealand.

EFSA, however, maintains that the toxicological relevance of the findings could not be assessed, since the mechanism of action is not clear. The ANS panel of the EFSA concluded that the scientific evidence of a plausible mechanism for the alterations in white blood cell counts has not been provided and that the concerns and uncertainties related to white blood cell counts have not been addressed.

Acidulants, acidity regulators

Acidulants and acidity regulators are used to give a sour taste to food and to act as preservative.Some acidulants act as stabilisers, other help antioxidants or emulsifiers.
Acidity regulators adjust the pH like phosphates and citrates, acids and alkaline substances.
E number range Subranges Description
  300-305 ascorbates (vitamin C)
  306-309 tocopherol (vitamin E)
  310-319 galates and erythorbates
  320-329 lactates
300-399 330-339 citrates and tartrates
Antioxidants and acidity regulators 340-349 phosphates
  350-359 malates and adipates
  360-369 succinates and fumarates
  370-399 others

E260 Acetic acid

E261Potassium acetate

E262 Sodium acetate

E263 Calcium acetate

Acetic acid(E260) is a harmless preservative. Acetic acid and his salts (acetates) are synthetically produced from light benzine.
It is important for the production of leaven.The bread made with this leaven is however of inferior quality.

Other ingredients

E325 Sodium lactate

E326 Potassium lactate

E327 Calcium lactate

Lactic acid is obtained from starch under the activity or bacteria.There are two types of lactic acids turning left and turning right.European legislation permits both form. Small children cannot metabolise the dextrorotatory Form. Its excessive ingestion may produce excessive blood acid.Food with D-lactic acid should be labelled with an warning.

E290 Carbon dioxide

Its harmless and is found normally in air.

E296 Malic acid

E331 Sodium citrate i) Monosodium citrate, ii) disodium citrate, iii) trisodium citrate

During heating procedure for infant formulae or follow-on formulae made from cow's milk the surplus of ionised calcium results in denaturation and aggregation of proteins causing a phase separation of fat and proteins. Sodium or potassium citrate, as well as sodium and potassium phosphates are therefore used to complex free calcium ions reducing denaturation and aggregation of formulae containing milk.
The use of sodium and potassium citrate is acceptable up to 2 g/l, either single or in combination, in infant formulae and follow-on formulae for infants and young children in good health and in FSMP. Sodium and potassium citrate are permitted in weaning foods at quantum satis levels for pH adjustment only (Directive 95/2/EC) and as source of nutrients in infant formula and follow-on formula for infants and young children in good health (Directive 91/321/EEC) [37].

E335 Sodium tartrate i) monosodium tartrate ii) disodium tartrate

E350 Sodium malate

E351 Calcium malate

Malic acid is present in many fruits.It exists as two types ( levorotatory form and dextrorotatory form ) Malic acid and its salts (malates) are being produced starting from fumaric acid (E297 )

E297Fumaric acid

Fumaric acid can be obtained synthetically.It is also being used in the production of plastics.

E300 Ascorbic acid

E301 Sodium ascorbate

E302 Calcium ascorbate

E304 Fatty acid esters from ascorbic acid, i) ascorbyl palmitate, II)ascorbyl stearate

E306 Heavy tocopherol bearing extracts

E307 Alpha-tocopherol

E308 Gama-tocopherol

E309 Delta tocopherol

E310 Propyl gallate

E311 Octyl gallate

E312 Dodecyl gallate

E315 Isoascorbic acid

E316 Sodium isoascorbate

E320 Butylhydroxyanisole (BHA)

E321 Butylhydroxytoluene (BHT)

Modified starch

According to the European labeling legislation starch modified with enzymes or with physical methods are not declared as "modified". These ingredients are declared in the list of ingredients as "starch".
Modified starch has its chemical structure changed with inorganic acids.Together with E339 disodium phosphate. E343 dimagnesium phosphate and E 450 orthophosphates modified starch can cause deposits of calcium in the pelvic region.


Emulsifier are substances which make a mixture of water and oil possible. They reduce the surface tension between both liquids, so that small droplet of oil may swim in water. This emulsion is called "oil in water emulsion".
When water swims droplets are swimming in oil it is called "water in oil emulsion".

In food technology there are many new organoleptic properties caused by emulsions such as creamy,thickening,foaming.
Emulsifiers are used widely in food such as margarine, in bakery in candies,puddings bred, soups.
Emulsifiers have great biological activity.They should not be employed uncontrolled.There are very few toxicologic studies about emulsifiers and were all made by their producers.In case of negative results they were not published.Recent tests have not found adverse activities.It is however believed that emulsifiers have a role in the development of diseases of intestines and in allergies.
Emulsifiers modify the surface of the intestine making them permeable to allergens,contaminants and other additives.
E number range Subranges Description
  400-409 alginates
  410-419 natural gums
  420-429 other natural agents
  430-439 polyoxyethene compounds
400-499 440-449 natural emulsifiers
Thickeners, stabilisers and emulsifiers 450-459 phosphates
  460-469 cellulose compounds
  470-489 fatty acids and compounds
  490-499 others

E322 Lecithin

Lecithin is extracted from soya beans and colza.Enzymatic hydrolysis is permitted.

E442 Ammonium phosphatides

They are obtained from oil of colza treated with ammonium.

E470a Sodium,potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids

Fatty acids are natural elements of fats and oils. Their salts are obtained by treating them with alcaline substances in order to get soaps.

470b Magnesium salt of edible fatty acids

E471 Mono and diglycerides of fatty acids esterified with organic acids

E471 reacts with tartaric acid,acetic acid or lactic acid.

Citric acid ester of mono- and di-glycerides replacing lecithin in chocolate applications.

Soy lecithin remains the most frequently used ingredient to lower the viscosity of liquid chocolate masses during processing. non-GM (genetically modified) soy lecithin with a full Identity Preserved (IP) status is, however, getting rare. Recent developments of new types of citric acid esters of mono- and di- glycerides from castor oil are replacing soy lecithin to overcome the shortage of GM- free lecithin on the international market

Functional advantages of citric acid ester of mono- and di-glycerides

Dosages of lecithin higher than 0.4 per cent increase the yield value of the chocolate mass, making it necessary either to add extra cocoa butter or PGPR (Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate E476 obtained from ricinoleic acid and polyglycerol from canola) to the chocolate.

Citric acid ester of mono- and di-glycerides act also as a wetting agent in instant chocolate drink powder an has an equivalent effect to soya lecithin when tested in a milk system.

It is also used as an instantising agent for powdered food preparations and instant chocolate drink powders intended for re-hydration in water or milk.

E475 Polyglycerol ester of fatty acids

Possible name in the list of ingredients is polyglycerol ester.

Polyglycerol Ester (PGE) is an emulsifiers which may be used instead of emulsifiers based on saturated fats. The bakery industry did little efforts to reduce the content of saturated fats and trans-fats of aerated and non-aerated cakes, sponge cakes, Swiss rolls, cup cakes, muffins, biscuits and fatty fillings. However, consumer pressure and an increasing number of studies made some manufacturers to reformulate their products leading to healthier bakeries with a leaner label and a positive nutritional profile.

Emulsifiers have a starch complexing effect, retard the retrogradation process of starch and increase the softness of cake. That is why industrial cakes have such long shelf life. Saturated fats of emulsifiers in creams cause an unpleasant low melting sensation when they are consumed, because the melting point of the fats are 50° and higher. The body temperature cannot melt them. New generations of food emulsifiers allow to change hard fats with liquid oils in the formulation of industrial cakes. They also increase the tolerance to mechanical treatment, such as pumping of the cake batter, which acquires resistance to high shear und stress during mixing, pumping and baking, an important feature in industrial bakery.

E477 Propylene glycol ester of fatty acids

Propylene glycol monostearate [38]

Aleogon, Frochot and Goff 2008 studied the effectiveness of propylene glycol monostearate (PGMS) to inhibit ice recrystallization in ice cream and frozen sucrose solutions. They found that 0.3 per cent of PGMS reduced ice crystal sizes in such solutions when frozen in a scraped-surface freezer. TheCho2009inc

crystal morphology was highly irregular. No effect was found in quiescently frozen solutions, such as ice pop or ice lollies. The authors say that shear during freezing is necessary to distribute PGMS around the ice and cover the surface of the crystals. Danisco has a patent on this matter.

Propylene glycol monostearate esters of fatty acids (E477) are classified as emulsifiers,the authors, however, found the emulsifying effect of PGMS to be poor.

E479b Thermally oxidized soybean with mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

E481 Sodium stearyl-2-lactylate

E482 Calcium stearyl-2-lactylate

E483 Stearyl tartrate

E491 Sorbitan monostearate

E492 Sorbitan tristearate

E493 Sorbitan monolaurate

E494 Sorbitan monooleate

E495 Sorbitan monopalmitate

E330 Citric acid

E331 Sodium citrate

E332 Potassium citrate

E333 Calcium citrate

Citric acid is present in many fruits, mainly in Kiwi and lemon.
Citric acid is part of the biological cellular activity.By high levels of citric acid in food, the intestines are forced to assimilate higher rates of heavy metals and radionuclides.
Citric acid is won from sugar by bacterial activity.

E334 Tartaric acid

E335 Sodium tartrate

E336 Calcium tartrate

E337Sodium and potassium tartrate

E353 Metatartaric acid

E354 Calcium tartrate

Tartaric acid is a natural substance obtained from rests of wine reacting with calcium milk (E526) with potassium tartrate (E336) and finally with sulphuric acid.Only the harmless levorotatory form form (left turning form) is allowed.

E338 Phosphoric acid

E339 Natrium phosphate i) monosodium phosphate, ii) disodium phosphate, iii) trisodium phosphate

E340 Potassium phosphate, i) monopotassium phosphate, ii) dipotassium phosphate, iii) tripotassium phosphate

E341 Calcium phosphate i) monocalcium phosphate, ii) dicalcium phosphate, iii) tricalcium phosphate

E343 Magnesium orthophosphate

Not allowed any more as food ingredient.

E352 Calcium malate i) calcium malate ii) calcium hydrogen malate

E355 Adipic acid

E356 Sodium adipate

E357 Potassium adipate


E380 Triammonium citrate

E385 Calcium disodium metylendiamine tetraacetate

E400 Alginic acid

E401 Sodium alginate

E402 Potassium alginate

E403 Ammonium alginate

E404 Calcium alginate

E405 Propylene glycol alginate

E406 Agar-Agar


Carrageenan is obtained from red alga Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) and is in use as stabiliser or thickening agent and as an encapsulation agent.
New researches and experiments from the University Iowa (USA) with animals rise the suspicion that this ingredient has carcinogenic potential. Low molecular carrageenan was recognised long time ago as carcinogenic. That is the reason to use only the long chain molecular types or carrageenan.
Researches in the University of Iowa have shown that carrageenan is broken in small molecules during processing and during digestion. These small parts can enter the bloodstream.[39]- Carrageen is largely sourced from the Philippines and Indonesia.

Thomas Karbowiak and colleagues found that adding high melting point fat to form an emulsified film can reduce the transfer of water and enhance moisture barrier properties. This is important in the development of composite foods where Karbowiaks research can lead to edible films and coatings applied between the different phases of this food.

Blends of iota-carrageenan hydrocolloid matrix and fat developed by the researchers reduce the water transfer between compartments of different water activities in the same food. Increased shelf-life can thus be obtained.

The authors conclude that carrageenan can be used for application such as encapsulation of active substances incorporated in biopolymer coatings or films for food packaging.

Degraded carrageen [40]

Joanne Tobacman reviewing experimental data pertaining to carrageenan's effects found that exposure to undegraded as well as to degraded carrageenan was associated with the occurrence of intestinal ulcerations and neoplasms. This association may be attributed to contamination of undegraded carrageenan by components of low molecular weight, spontaneous metabolism of undegraded carrageenan by acid hydrolysis under conditions of normal digestion, or the interactions with intestinal bacteria.

Chemically degraded form of carrageen have lower molecular weight. factors such as bacterial action, stomach acid and food preparation may transform undegraded carrageenan into the more dangerous degraded type.

The safety of carrageenan has recently been reviewed in 2001 by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). The experts on this Committee did not find evidence to suggest that the levels of carrageenan in foods posed any hazard to health. [] [41]

During the course of the re-evaluation, the JECFA specifically reviewed the matter of the potential for gastrointestinal effects from ingestion of carrageenan. This included an evaluation of the effects of stomach flora on carrageenan, food processing conditions on carrageenan and the degradation of carrageenan in the stomach. Throughout the course of the re-evaluation, the JECFA considered genotoxicity studies, metabolism, reproduction and developmental toxicity, and short term and long-term mammalian feeding studies (including a 7.5 year feeding study in monkeys).

The JECFA also considered information about the current understanding of the concept of cell proliferation and promotion of tumors. [] [41]

The fact that proliferative effects were seen at 2.6% in the diet is not being considered as relevant, because the estimated carrageenan consumption is below the threshold concentration for these effects. Further, the JECFA also noted that at 5% in the diet of rats, carrageenan did not act as at tumor promotor. Effects seen at exceptionally high levels of exposure to carrageenan were determined to be caused by altered toxicokinetics. [] [41]

Overall, the JECFA concluded that there was no concern to the continued consumption of carrageenan. It allows for the use of the additive at the level necessary to achieve the technical or functional effect in food, also referred to as the level of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). The complete report of this review was made publicly available in 2003 and therefore post dates the review by Dr. Tobacman. [42] [41]

Carrageenan is safe, says Cohen and Ito 2002 [43]

Cohen and Ito 2002 stress food-grade carrageenan has a weight average molecular weight greater than 100,000 Da, only small content of smaller particles are present. Carrageenan is not degraded in the gastrointestinal tract and is not absorbed. Systemically administered carrageenan has been reported to have an effect on the immune system, but this has no relation to an oral intake. Many toxicological studies on carrageenan have involved administration in high doses. The substance poligeenan (formerly referred to as degraded carrageenan) is not a food additive. It exhibits toxicological properties at high doses.

The lack of carcinogenic, genotoxic, or tumor-promoting activity of carrageenan demonstrated in various studies, support the affirmation that carrageenans are safe under the actual food regulations.

EU Carrageenan opinion of 2002 [44]

The Committee consideres carrageenan as an additive for general food with an ADI of 0 - 75 mg/kg bw. The Committee notes that intakes are considerably below the ADI. However, a molecular weight limit of not >5% below 50 kDa should be introduced into the specification, in order to ensure that the presence of any degraded carrageenan is kept to a minimum.

The Committee says that it is inadvisable to use carrageenan in infant formulae that are fed from birth, including those in the category of foods for special medical purposes, as low molecular weight carrageenan may be absorbed by the gut of the infant and interfere with the immune system. There are no objection to the use of carrageenan in foods for older infants, such as follow-on milks and weaning foods.

E407a Processed Euchema algae

E410 Carob seed

Also known as locust bean gum is allowed in follow-on formulae at a maximum level of 1g/l, and in weaning foods at a maximum level of 10g/kg under Directive 92/2/EC. Locust bean gum is refined from the endosperm of the carob tree Ceratonia siliqua. It contains tannins. The carbohydrate component is a galactomannan polymer consisting of linked D-mannose units with side chains of D-galactose. It is used as a stabiliser and thickening agent.

E412 Guar gum

E413 Tragacanth

E414 Gum arabic

Gum arabic, gum acacia

Gum arabic, acacia gum E414 is won from acacia trees in Sudan and Nigeria. Gum arabic is a complex mixture saccharides and glycoproteins, which gives it one of its most useful properties: it is perfectly edible. Other substances have replaced it in situations where toxicity is not an issue, as the proportions of the various chemicals in gum arabic varies widely and make its reliable performance troublesome. Still, it remains an important ingredient in soft drinks, syrups, hard gummy candies like gumdrops, and in marshmallows. [45]

Corn fibre gums replacing acacia gum

Madhav P. Yadav and colleagues, in a study, extracted two different types of corn fiber gum from the corn kernel pericarp and/or endosperm fiber. The researchers found that the emulsifying properties of corn fibre gums, an arabinoxylan (hemicellulose), were better than native and modified acacia gums and could domestically produced gum with a dependable supply and consistent quality replacing acacia gums.[46]

E415 Xanthan

E416 Karaya gum

E417 Tara seed

E418 Gellan

E425 Konjac

Konjac is approved by WHO, US Food and Drug Administration and the European Union with up to one per cent of the final product. It is used for gel strength, viscosity in confectionery,as dietary fiber,edible films, improves mouthfeel.
It is also called glucomannan being a hydrocolloidal polysaccharide obtained from the tuber of Amorphophallus Konjac, K.Koch, growing in East Asia. The chain of the molecules of the nonionic glucomannan is built mainly of mannose and glucose in a ratio of 1.6 : 1.0 the molecular weight is between 200,000 and 2,000,000 daltons. There are acetyl groups which are responsible for water solubility.

There were rumours linking konjac with certain death cases after ingestion of jelly minicups and fruit gel sweets containing konjac.

New hydrocolloid from process waters of Norway spruce [47]

Hydrocolloids are increasingly needed in the production of foods as stabilisers, thickeners, emulsifiers and gelling agents, papermaking, textile and cosmetic industries.

Steffan Willför and colleagues stress that mannans used as guar gum, Konjac glucomannan, locust bean gum, tara gum, and fenugreek gum are used, but mannans from wood are neglected. The researchers found that the process waters in mechanical pulp mills processing Norway spruce is high in dissolved O-acetylgalactoglucomannans (AcGGM). This hydrocolloid represents about 50 per cent of the dissolved matter in the process water.

Bulk sweeteners and intersity sweeteners

Bulk sweeteners are

Sugar, sorbitol, maltitol, isomalt, mannitol, erytritol, lactitol contribute to the bulk, the texture and the viscosity of foods.

FSA will look after food safety after tenfold increase of high-intensity sweetener use [48]

The world use of high intensity sweeteners rose tenfold in two years years up to over 700 thousand tonnes/y of saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame K, sucralose and cyclamate being consumed today.

Looking for a method to simultaneously extract and determine the currently permitted intense sweeteners

The UK Food Standards agency called for research proposals for a fully validated method to detect and measure the presence of sweeteners in food, including saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame K, NHDC, sucralose, cyclamic acid, neotame and stevia extracts. Validation should follow the guidelines for single laboratory validation of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The Agency plans to test food products for their sweetener content, to ensure that the levels used are safe.

High-intensity sweeteners

High-intensity sweeteners are: Saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame K, sucralose and cyclamate do not contribute to the physical properties of a product and must be supplemented by bulking agents

E420 Sorbitol, ii) sorbitol syrup

Sorbitol is widely used in diabetic foods. Can cause gastric disturbances.

Sorbitol in chewing gum and sweets may cause serious weight loss [49]

Sorbitol is a "sugar-free" sweetener found in chewing gum and sweets. The safety of sorbitol has been thoroughlylyols must be labelled with the statement, "Excessive consumption may produce laxative effects."

According to Juergen Baudits and colleagues 2008 serious weight loss and diarrhoea were caused by excessive sorbitol consumption. In the two reported cases the daily consume of sorbitol was abaut 20 to 30 grams. The authors stress that the side effects of sorbitol are usually found only within the small print on foods containing sorbitol, consumers may be unaware of its laxative effects and fail to recognise a link with their gastrointestinal problems. The industry would be well advised to print the warning concerning the laxative effect in 0,6 mm letters or higher.

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol derived from corn starch that is widely used in a range of food products, including confectionery, baked goods, jams and preserves, ice cream and diabetic foods. Sorbitol is hailed as noncariogenic, it has humectant and texturising properties and is used in food products such as snack foods and beverages.

The range of corn-derived sweeteners comprises glucose syrup, maltose syrup, high fructose corn syrup, crystallized glucose and maltodextrin and sorbitol, which is being sold as bulk reduced calorie sweetener.

Polyols such as sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, mannitol, maltitiol and isomalt have been approved by the Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) for use in foodstuffs and fall under the "additives" label. In the sorbitol has achieved GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) status.

E421 Mannit

E422 Glycerin

E432 Polyoxyethylen-sorbitan monolaurat (Polysorbate 20)

E433 Polyoxyethylen-sorbitan monooleat (Polysorbate 80)

E434 Polyoxyethylen-sorbitan monopalmitate (Polysorbate 40)

E435 Polyoxyethylen-sorbitan monostearate (Polysorbate 60)

E436 Polyoxyethylen-sorbitan tristearate (Polysorbate 65)

E440 Pectine

E444 Sacharoseacetate isobutyrate

E445 Glycerinester of root resin

E450 Sodium and potassium orthophosphate

Phosphates which are allowed as food ingredients: i) disodiumdiphosphate, ii) trisodiumdiphosphate, iii)tetrasidiumdiphosphate, iv) dipotassiumdiphosphate, v) tetrapotassiumdiphosphate, vi) dicalciumdiphosphate, vii) calciumdihydrogendiphosphate.

E451 Triphospohate

Allowed triphosphates are:i) Pentasodium triphosphate, ii) pentapotassium triphosphate.

E452 Polyphosphates

Allowed polyphosphates are: i) sodium polyphosphate, ii) potassium polyphosphate, iii) sodium calcium polyphosphate, iv) calcium polyphosphate.

E460 Cellulose

i) Cellulose microcristaline ii)Cellulose powder.

E461 Methylcellulose

E463 Hydroxymethyl cellulose

E464 Hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose

E465 Ethylmethyl cellulose

E466 Carboxymethyl cellulose

E540 Calcium diphosphate

It is not allowed any more.

E541 Sodium aluminum phosphate

E543 Sodium and calcium polyphosphate

Not allowed any more, Phosphates in food are a great group of substances. They were often commented in the press. They are not as dangerous as perceived by the average consumer.
According official classifications the calcium ortophosphate ( E341 ) is harmless.Nevertheless it is being used as insecticide.The activity of phosphates in case of hyperactivity of children is still unknown.

Polyphosphates can alterate the metabolytic activity in humans.In addition to modified starch they may cause calcification of the pelvic region in rats.
Polyphosphates intensify the activity of heavy metals making them easier to cross the intestine wall.

Polyphosphates may contain a lot of impurities.
In Japan a group of children were intoxicated with arsene as impurity of ortophosphate used in food.
Other impurities are uranium and cadmium. In Europe the following maximal contents of impurities are allowed in food:
Fluor 3 mg/Kg
Lead 50 mg/Kg
Copper 10 mg/Kg
Zinc 50 mg/Kg

Call for tighter regulations on phosphates [50]

Reseachers call for tighter regulations on phosphates as food ingredients because of lung cancer risk.
The use of phosphates in foods increased from 470mg per day in the average adult diet in 1990s, to as much as 1000mg per day for present time. Phosphates are added to increases water retention and improve texture in meats, sausages, cheeses, beverages and bakery goods.

Dr Myung-Haing Cho and colleagues found that feeding K-rasLA1 mice with a diet containing 1.0% inorganic phosphates for 4 weeks, increased the size of the tumours and stimulated growth of the tumours, compared with lower or none phosphate supplementation.

High dietary inorganic phosphate strongly activates Akt signaling, which plays an important role in the lung tumorigenesis. The authors stress that the results of their study suggest that elevated phosphates may activate the Akt signaling in the normal lungs and increase lung tumorigenesis.

According to the authors disruption of Akt signaling pathways in lung tissues can confer a normal cell with malignant properties. They call for a careful regulation of dietary inorganic phosphates for lung cancer prevention as well as treatment.
E number range Subranges Description
  500-509 mineral acids and bases
  5010-519 Chlorides and sulphates
  520-529 sulphates and hydroxides
e 500-599 530-549 alcali metal compounds
pH regulators and anti-caking agents 550-559 silicates
  570-579 stearates and gluconates
  580-599 otrhers

E551 Silicon dioxide

E552 Calcium silicate

E553a i)Magnesium silicate, ii) Magnesium trisilicate

E553b Talcum

E554 Sodium aluminum silicate

E555 Potassium aluminium silicate

E556 Calcium aluminium silicate

E558 Betonit:Fluor silicic acid

E559 Aluminium silicate (kaolin)

E570 Fatty acids

E574 Gluconic acid

Gluconic acid is present in small quantities in honey.It is used as acidulant in soft drinks and as anticorrosive in tin can of sprays.

E575 Glucono delta-lactone

Used in sausages to enhance the action of nitrate in order to get a red colour.It is used as acid regulator. In low levels it is harmless.

E576 Sodium gluconate

E577 Potassium gluconate

E578 Calcium gluconate

E579 Iron-II gluconate

E585 Iron-II lactate

E471 Mono and diglycerids from edible fatty acids

They are used as emulsifier for margarine, fine food, and many other products. Moslems and Jews which are looking for halaal or koscher foods are often exchanging E- Numbers or references of emulsifiers such as E 471 and E472.
The E-Number or their chemical name in the list of ingredients give no information about the origin of the fatty acids used. Their origin may be vegetable, such as palm oil from the palm Elaeis guineensis, cocoa oil from Cocos nucifera as well as hydrated oils and fats from soy beans Soy bean (Glycine maxima), cottonseed oil from Gossipium barbadense and Gossipium hirsutum.
Mono- and diglycerids E471 may also have their origin from bovine tallow and what is relevant to moslems and Jews: from lard from pigs. The specifications given by the producer of the emulsifier must specify the origin as it cannot be seen by the declaration of the list of ingredients. In each case it must be cleared by the producer.

E472a Acetic esters of mono- and diglycerides of edible fatty acids

E472b Lactic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of edible fatty acids

E472c Citric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of edible fatty acids

E472d Tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of edible fatty acids

E472e Mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides of edible fatty acids

E472f Mixture of tartaric and acetic acid ester of mono- and diglycerides of edible fatty acids

E473 Sucrose ester of edible fatty acids

E474 Sucroglyceride

E500 Sodium carbonate

It is used in backery,effervescent drinks,as acid regulator in baby food and cheese.It is harmless for adults. For children it is necessary to consider the amount of sodium from salt in food which must be added to the sodium of Sodium carbonate.

E501 Potassium carbonate

It is being employed in the treatment of cocoa and as an acidity regulator in sauces like Maggi in addition to chloridric acid.
Potassium carbonate is being employed in the production of raisins. It is being considered as harmless.

E503 Ammonium carbonate

Ammonium carbonate is toxic when eating directly, because of the amount of ammonium being liberated.As ammonium is removed during heating in a furnace its use for bakeries is harmless.

E504 Magnesium carbonate

It is used in the production of cocoa and drinking water,chewing gum and kitchen salt to avoid clotting.

E507 Chloridric acid

It is used in the production of sugar from corn starch and as acid hydrolysis of proteins to obtain Maggi.His use is harmless because no acidity is present in final products.

E508 Potassium chloride

It is used to substitute kitchen salt in case of hipersensibility to sodium.It is also used in combination with gelling agents.

E509 Calcium chloride

It is being used in combination with specific gelling agents. It acts against the hardness of water in the production of beer.
In the production of cheese calcium chloride is being used in order to get a higher rate of albumin.

E510 Ammonium chloride

It is harmfull.In animals and in humans there were found modifications or bones,modification of the haemogram,alterations of the hypophysis and renal gland. According to World Health Organisation ammonium chloride produces weight loss in during pregnancy,vomits, loss of appetite and hiperventilation.
It is being used in special types of candies and in drinking water, a maximum of 0,6 mg ammoniac/liter had been allowed.(It is removed from the positive list of EU allowance.) indexSulphuric acid

E513 Sulphuric acid

It is used in the treatment of drinking water and in the production of sugar. It is harmless as long the concentration in food is low so that there cannot be caused acid lesions.

E514 Sodium sulphate, ii) Sodium hydrogen sulfate

Sodium sulphate is being used as strong laxative.In food it adjusts colours in very little concentrations so that it may be considered as harmless.

E515 Potassium sulphate, ii) Potassium hydrogen sulphate

E517 Ammonium sulphate

E520 Aluminium sulphate

E521 Aluminium sodiumsulphate

E522 Aluminium potassium sulphate

E523 Aluminium ammoniumsulphate

E516 Calcium sulphate

It is gypsum, being used to stabilise bread and is used in addition to thickening agents.It is also used as colour. It is used to treat water for the production of beer.

E524 Sodium hydroxide

It is being used extern in the production of pretzel, in the production of cocoa,in treatment of drinking water.

E525 Potassium hydroxide

E526 Calcium hydroxide

Calcium milk is being used in the preservation of eggs.

E527 Ammonium hydroxide

Ammoniac is permitted to treat cocoa, and drinking water.As a free substance it is cell toxic.

E528 Magnesium hydroxide

E529 Calcium oxide

It is used in treating drinking water. IndexMagnesium oxide

E530 Magnesium oxide

E535 Sodium ferrocyanide

E536 Potassium ferrocyanide

E538 Calcium ferrocyanide

(It is removed from the positive list of EU allowance.)

E541 Sodium aluminium phosphate

Flavour enhancers

E number range Subranges Description
600-699 620-629 glutamates and guanylates
Flavour enhancers 630-639 inosinates
  640-649 others


E number range Subranges Description
700-799 700-713  
E700 Bacitracin
7001 Tetracyclines
E702 Chlortetracycline
E703 Oxytetracycline
E704 Oleandomycin
E705 Penicillin-G-potassium
E706 Penicillin-G-sodium
E707 Penicillin-G-procaine
E708 Penicillin-G-benzathyne
E710 Spiramycins
E711 Virginiamicins
E712 Flavophospholipol
E713 Tylosin
E714 Monensin
E715 Avoparcin
E716 Salinimycin
E717 Avilamycin

Waxes, gases, sweeteners and foaming agents

E number range Subranges Description
  900-909 waxes
  910-919 synthetic glazes
900-999 920-929 improving agents
Waxes, gases, sweeteners and foaming agents 930-949 packaging gases
  950-969 sweeteners
  990-999 foaming agents

E900 Dimethyl polysiloxane

E901 Beeswax

E902 Candelilla wax

E903 Carnauba wax

E904 Shellac

E912 Montan ester

E914 Polyethylen waxoxidate

E927 Carbamid

E938 Argon

E939 Helium

E941 Nitrogen

E950 Acesulfame K

It is an artificial sweetener. "K" stands for the chemical sign of potassium,as salt.It is stable at high temperatures.An old nomenclature was acetusulfame. The European Commission has approved acesulfame K in June 1990 with an ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) of 9 milligram/kilogram body weight. This ADI should not be surpassed.

E951 Aspartame

Aspartame is a low-calorie artificial sweetener which was approved by the FDA in 1981 and by EU Commission since June 1990.
It is built by two amino acids: Phenylalanine and asparagine acid and methanol which are linked together to form the new substance aspartame.
In the stomach the aspartame is broken down into methanol and the two amino acids which are than digested as any other amino acids furnishing 4 Kcal/gram.

Aspartame is considered to be safe with exception in cases of phenylketonuria (PKU) which is a rare disorder caused by a defective gene which regulates metabolism of the amino acid phenylalanine. An intermediary toxic metabolite builds up in the blood damaging brains. A special diet low in phenylalanine must be continued the whole life. Because of that aspartame must be labelled with: "contains a source of phenylalanine", as a warning for patients with phenylketonuria.

A good information about safety of aspartame is given by Please search for "Aspartame". Fanatics claim the methanol being released in the body is converted to formic acid and formaldehyde Thermal decomposition of aspartame is told to origin DKP, a substance with cancer activity. See at

Remember the end of Introduction of "Be careful not to fall into sectarian thinking-allow always arguments of the other side." Aspartame was approved by FDA, EU Commission and other international governmental institutions which are guarantors for a neutral decision regarding safety of aspartame.

Lack of association between saccharin, aspartame and other sweeteners and the risk of several common neoplasms.

Studies linking Aspartame with cancer

Animal bladder cancer and saccharin. CSPI input to the NTP's review of the artificial sweetener saccharin October 24, 1997

Sodium saccharin causes urinary bladder tumors in male rats. While it cannot While some have argued that those tumors are irrelevant to humans, such arguments are flawed. While it cannot be proved that sodium saccharin's causation of bladder tumors in male rats is relevant to humans, neither can it be assumed to be irrelevant.

The Ramazzini Study 2005 [52]

Lambertini an colleagues demonstrated, that aspartame causes a statistically significant, dose-related increase in lymphomas and leukaemias in female rats at dose levels very near those to which humans can be exposed.

The authors say that this could be related to methanol, a metabolite of aspartame, which is metabolised to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, both in humans and rats.

The authors conclude that the results of the study call for urgent re-examination of permissible exposure levels of aspartame in both food and beverages, especially to protect children.

Animal studies of the 1970s, linking saccharine to bladder cancer were not reproduced in humans. Researchers at Ramazzini's cancer research centre in Italy caused a stir in 2005 by claiming that their study indicated that aspartame consumption by rats leads to increase in lymphomas and leukaemias in females at dose levels "very near those to which humans can be exposed"

Proof to the contrary: No link of aspartame and cancer

The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study [53]

Researchers examined the relationship between aspartame intake and 1,888 lymphomas or leukemias and 315 malignant brain cancers among the participants of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study from 1995 until 2000. Development of these cancers was not associated with estimated aspartame consumption, refuting a recent animal study with positive findings for lymphomas and leukemias and also contradicting claims regarding brain cancer risk.

The NCI Study [53]

The US National Cancer Institute study found no statistically significant link between aspartame-containing beverage consumption and leukemias, lymphomas or brain tumors in man or women.

The EFSA Opinion May 2006 [54]

The European Food Safety Authority issued its opinion last may, that there is no need for a further safety review of aspartame nor a revision of the acceptable daily intake (40 mg/kg body weight).

According to Panel the kinetic data in humans indicate that dose levels around the acceptable daily intake (ADI) (40 mg/kg bw/d), even when taken as a bolus dose, do not lead to systemic exposure to aspartame. Furthermore, exposure to any of its breakdown products, including methanol or formaldehyde, is negligible.
The Panel considers that no significant new data have emerged since 2002 on aspects other than carcinogenicity and there is therefore no reason to review the previous SCF opinion on aspartame. The Panel concludes, on the basis of all the evidence currently available from the ERF study, other recent studies and previous evaluations that there is no reason to revise the previously established ADI for aspartame of 40 mg/kg bw.

Network of case-control studies, Dr. Silvano Gallus 2006 [55]

Dr Silvano Gallus and colleagues considered data from a network of case-controlled studies conduced in Italy between 1991 and 2004. A significant inverse trend in risk for increasing categories of total sweeteners was found for breast and ovarian cancer, and a direct one for laryngeal cancer. The authors concluded that there is a lack of association between saccharin, aspartame and other sweeteners and the risk of several common neoplasms.

These findings confirm foregoing researches, such as the US National Cancer Institute study which found no statistically significant link between aspartame-containing beverage consumption and leukemias, lymphomas or brain tumors in man or women.

Aspartame-acesulfame-salt E962

[56] It is a new sweetener built of acesulfame K which has substituted the sodium ion from the aspartame creating thus a chemical link between both sweeteners. This new sweetener is supposed to have handling advantages. It is marketed under the name Twinsweet. It is produced by soaking a 2-1 mixture of aspartame and acesulfame potassium in an acidic solution and allowing it to crystallize; moisture and potassium are removed during this process. It is approximately 350 times as sweet as sucrose.

Aspartame-acesulfame salt was approved for use as an artificial sweetener in the European Parliament and Council Directive 94/35 EC as amended by Directive 2003/ 115/ EC in 2003. In North America it falls under the same regulations as aspartame and acesulfame-K, and is also approved for use in China, Russia, Hong-Kong, Australia and New Zealand. [57]

Calculating permitted levels of salt of aspartame-acesulfame [58]

The maximum usable dose for the salt of aspartame-acesulfame in a particular food can be calculated by firstly multiplying the maximum usable dose (in the food concerned) of either the acesulfame K or aspartame equivalent (see Annex 1) by the molecular weight of salt of aspartame-acesulfame. This figure should then be divided by the molecular weight of either the acesulfame K or aspartame equivalent to obtain the final figure. Examples of this calculation are shown below.

Molecular weight of salt of aspartame-acesulfame = 457.46
Molecular weight of acesulfame K = 201.24
Molecular weight of aspartame = 294.31

Acesulfame K
"Water-based flavoured drinks, energy-reduced or with no added sugar" - maximum usable dose for acesulfame K = 350 mg/l
350 multiplied by 457.46 = 160111
160111 divided by 201.24 = 795.62
The equivalent permitted level of salt of aspartame-acesulfame is 796 mg/l.

"Snacks": certain flavours of ready to eat, pre-packed, dry, savoury starch products and coated nuts" - maximum usable dose for aspartame = 500 mg/kg
500 multiplied by 457.46 = 228730
228730 divided by 294.31 = 777.17
The equivalent permitted level of salt of aspartame-acesulfame is 777 mg/kg.

Sucralose (E955)[56]

It is a new sweetener which is about to be approved by the EU Commission.It is non-caloric an is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Sucralos (trichlorogalactosucrose) is being made by chlorinating saccharose. The ADI is 15 mg/Kg body weight. It is resistant to heat and can be used for cooking and backing.

Image Sucralose
Sucralose: National Institute of Health [59]

Cheap sucralose copy

Food industry tries to substitute sugar for cheap alternatives and follows a trend towards sugar-free and low-calorie products. Altern is a low-calorie tabletop sweetener containing sucralose. It is being blamed of infringing on intellectual property of Tate & Lyle company, which has a 1976 patent on a similar sucralose product branded Splenda.

The patent expired but Tate & Lyle holds on its process patents. Altern product is sold at a 30% discount and is believed to be a direct copy of Splenda, which it had supplied to a manufacturing customer who had then sold it to the US retail giant.

E952 Cyclamate and its Na- and Ca- salts

It is an artificial non-caloric non-cariogenic sweetener. Its chemical name is sodium or calcium cyclohexylsulfamate. Cyclamate is about 1/10 sweeter than saccharin and 30 times than sugar. An AID of 11 mg/Kg body weight can easily exceeded when soft drinks are largely consumed in summer. It has no wrong taste in high concentrations. AID is therefore easily exceeded in kitchen formulations.
Cyclamate is heat resistant and can be used for cooking and backing. Cyclamate is not digested by most persons, only a small number can do it.

Cyclamate is often used in combination with other sweeteners enhancing each other so that final taste is sweeter as the sum of the individual sweeteners. 5 mg of saccharin together with 50 mg cyclamate are equivalent to 125 mg cyclamate and 12.5 mg saccharin. Cyclamate is also used in combination with aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame K.

Cyclamate was banned in the United States in 1970 following the result of a test on rats which developed bladder cancer with very high dose of cyclamate in addition to saccharin. A current petition to reaprove cyclamate is before the FDA.

Cyclamate and its major metabolites cyclohexylamine are not considered as carcinogenic according to numerous animal test failing to confirm the original findings of 1969. Meanwhile cyclamate is approved in more than 55 countries around the world.

Cyclamate and the EU Directive 2003/115/EC amending Sweeteners Directive 94/35/EC

The Directive 2003/115/EC, taking account of the opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on cyclamic acid and its sodium and calcium salts (cyclamate) restricts the use of cyclamate in water, milk and fruit juice based drinks as well as energy-reduced and non-added sugar drinks and a range of confectionery products, including sugar-free chewing gum and breath-freshening sweets.
Formulations with blending of cyclamate and acesulfame are trying to compensate the reduction of cyclamate.

E954 Saccharin and its Na- and Ca- salts

[60]Saccharin is a artificial sweetener Saccharin is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Due to the water solubility the sodium salt is most frequently used. Saccharin is high temperature and cooking and backing resistant.
Saccharin high dose was charged of causing bladder cancer, this could not be confirmed. In small amount saccharin is considered to be safe. In some industrial recipes sugar is being substituted because to bring down cost of ingredients.
Don't use a higher concentration as 5% to 8% sugar substitution= maximum 0.02% saccharine in food as a metallic taste will be present in higher concentrations.
All artificial sweeteners reduce their sweetening power when a certain dose is exceeded. The combination of two sweeteners such as saccharin/acesulfame K or saccharin/cyclamate or cyclamate/aspartame increases the sweetening power.In kitchen and in industrial production saccharin/cyclamate in relation 1 to 10 is therefore frequently used.

Artificial sweeteners may alter sensory of drinking water in Germany [61]

According to Marco Scheurer and colleagues 2009 artificial sweeteners are not removed in waste water treatment.

All sweeteners used in the EU are approved and safe, however they pose an environmental problem because they pass sewage treatment plants. They were found in surface water and may cause sweet taste in tap water.

The researchers used a new method to analyse drinking water. The method focussed on the simultaneous detection of cyclamate, acesulfame, saccharine, aspartame, neotame, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone and sucralose in German waste and surface water.

Samples from sewage treatment plants and from a soil aquifer treatment site that treats secondary effluent from a sewage treatment plant showed that artificial sweeteners are incompletely eliminated by the treatment process.

The authors found levels of 190 microgram/l, 40 microgram/l for acesulfame and saccharine, and under 1microgram/l for sucralose in influents of German sewage treatment plants. In surface waters acesulfame concentrations exceeded 2 microgram/L, being of primary concern.

The authors suggest the use of sucralose and acesulfame as tracers for anthropogenic contamination

E957 Thaumatin[60]

It is won from the fruit of the west African shrub Ketemfe Thaumatococcus daniellii. It is a mixture of proteins (a polypeptide chain of 207 amino acids). It is 2000 times sweeter than saccharose.

It is non-cariogenic and has 4.2 Kcal/g and contributes no calories when used in low levels. It is considered as safe and has no maximum ADI (Allowable Daily Intake). It is not resistant to heat, therefore not indicated for cooking and backing.Thaumatin can also be produced by bacteria using genetic engineering.

E959 Neohesperidin DCeohesperiden DC[60]

It is won from different types of Bromelia fruits, like pineapple.and grapefruit. It is a sweetening agent with very intensive taste, dihydrochalcone C28H36O15, a glycosidic flavonoid. It is also a bitterness suppressor. Blends of Neohesperidin with polyols, aspartame and acesulfame K and Saccharine are used. It is 1500 times sweeter than saccharose.The ADI of neohesperidin is 5 mg/Kg body weight.

E960 Steviol glycosides [3]

Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 allows a maximum level (mg/l or mg/kg) E960 steviol glycosides expressed as steviol equivalent only in energy-reduced products or with no added sugar.

Stevia approved as sweetener by EU food authority [62]

Stevia is being obtained from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana. Its sweetnes has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, and some extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations. Steviol glycoside extracts (E960) have up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar. are heat-stable, pH-stable, and do not ferment. They also do not induce a glycemic response when ingested, making them attractive as natural sweeteners to diabetics and others on carbohydrate-controlled diets.

The European Food Safety Authority evaluated the safety of steviol glycosides, extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant, as sweetener and expressed its opinion on 10 March 2010. The EFSA concluded that the sweetener is not carcinogenic nor genotoxic. The EFSA established an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for steviol glycosides, expressed as steviol equivalents, of 4 mg/kg bodyweight/day. Conservative estimates of steviol glycosides exposure, both in adults and in children, suggest that it is likely that the ADI would be exceeded at the maximum proposed use levels. The Regulation 1131/2011 introduced amendment with regard to steviol glycosides. [5]
Food mg/l or mg/kg
Flavoured fermented milk products including heat treated products 100
Edible ices 200
Fruit and vegetables in vinegar, oil, or brine 100
Fruit and vegetable preparations excluding compote 200
Extra jam and extra jelly as defined by Directive 2001/113/EC 200
Jam, jellies and marmalades and sweetened chestnut puree 200
Other similar fruit or vegetable spreads 200
Cocoa and Chocolate products as covered by Directive 2000/36/EC 270
Other confectionery including breath refreshening microsweets:  
a - only cocoa or dried fruit based, energy reduced or with no added sugar 270
b - only cocoa, milk, dried fruit or fat based sandwich spreads,  
energy-reduced or with no added sugar 330
c - only confectionary with no added sugar 350
d- only breath-freshening micro-sweets, with no added sugar 2 000
e - only strongly flavoured freshening throat pastilles with no added sugar 670
Chewing gum 3 300
Decorations, coatings and fillings, except fruit based fillings 330
a- only confectionary with no added sugar 330
b- only cocoa or dried fruit based, energy reduced or with no added sugar 270
Breakfast cereals with a fibre content of more than 15 %, and  
containing at least 20 % bran, energy reduced or with no added sugar 330
Essoblaten - wafer paper 330
Sweet-sour preserves and semi preserves of fish and marinades of fish,  
crustaceans and molluscs 200
Table Top Sweeteners in liquid form, in powder form and in tablets QS
Soups energy reduced 40
Sauces 120
Soy-bean sauce (fermented and non-fermented) 175
Dietary foods for special medical purposes defined in Directive 1999/21/EC 330
Dietary foods for weight control diets intended to replace total daily  
food intake or an individual meal (the whole or part of the total daily diet) 270
Fruit nectars energy-reduced or with no added sugar and vegetable  
nectars and similar products 100
Flavoured drinks energy reduced or with no added sugar 80
Beer and malt beverages 70
Other alcoholic drinks including spirits with less than 15 % of alcohol  
and mixtures of alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks 150
Potato-, cereal-, flour- or starch-based snacks 20
Processed nuts 20
Desserts energy-reduced or with no added sugar 100
Food supplements supplied in a solid form including capsules  
and tablets and similar forms 670
Food supplements supplied in a liquid form 200
Food supplements supplied in a syrup-type or chewable form 1 800

Neotame E961. New artifical sweetener in Europe [63]

Neotame is a highly intense sweetener with a sweetness potency ranging from 7 000 to 13 000 times that of sucrose. It may be used as a replacement for sucrose or other sweeteners in a broad range of products. Neotame can be used alone or with other sweeteners. In addition, neotame can modify the flavour of foods and beverages. The sweetener was developed by The NutraSweet Company in the US and is a derivative of aspartame.

It is used to mask bitter or harsh notes, such as may be present when potassium choloride is used in salt substitutes, or the beany taste of soy. The approval is an amendment to directive 94/35/EC.

Allowed are up to 20 mg/Kg of Neotame for non-alcoholic drinks. Deserts and similar, and milk- and derivates- based products may use up to 32mg/Kg. Confectionaries and others vary from 12 mg/Kg to 200 mg/Kg.


Erythritol is a natural sugar alcohol (a type of sugar substitute). It is a non-caloric sveetener. It has been approved for use in the United States and throughout much of the world and in the EU. It was included in the positive list with amendment of the EC Directive 94/35/EC.

It is 70% as sweet as table sugar and excellent-tasting, yet it is virtually non-caloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and is absorbed by the body, therefore unlikely to cause gastric side effects unlike other sugar alcohols. Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirements, it has a caloric value of 0.2 calories per gram (95% less than sugar and other carbohydrates), but other countries such as Japaqn label it at 0 calories.

Erythritol has been certified as toothfriendly. The sugar alcohol cannot be metabolized by oral bacteria, and so does not contribute to tooth decay. Interestingly, erythritol exhibits some, but not all, of the tendencies to "starve" harmful bacteria like xylitol does. Unlike xylitol, erythritol is actually absobed into the bloodstream after consumption but before excretion; however it is not clear if the effect of starving harmful bacteria occurs systemically at this stage. [65]

Erythritol occurs naturally in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and fermented foods. It has a crystalline appearance, taste and functionality similar to sucrose, yet without the calories.

The teeth-protecting role of acidified sugar-free products such as soft drinks and confections is being questioned [66]

Xylitol, a polyol, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and by the European Union as non-cariogenic food additive, which reduces tooth decay when used to replace sugar.

According to Nadimi et al. 2011 the health claim “tooth friendly” for chewing gums containing xylitol and other claims, such as “sugar-free” may create a false health-perception among consumers that all sugar-free products are safe on teeth.

Nadimi points to the fact that the presence of acidic flavourings and preservatives in sugar-free products may have adverse dental health effects, such as dental erosion. The authors reassure that polyol-based sugar-free products may decrease dental caries incidence but, otherwise, acidic additives may increase dental erosion and health claims may induce false dental safety perception of the consumer.

Studies found sorbitol-sweetened gum to have low cariogenicity when used not more the three times /day and Xylitol-sweetened gum was noncariogenic compared with sugar sweetened products. Burton 2006 says these studies suggest that regular use of xylitol-sweetened gum may prevent caries, and may become a public-health preventive measure. [67]

Xylitol can decrease mutans streptococci levels in plaque and saliva and can reduce dental caries in young children, mothers, and in children via their mothers.The use of xylitol to reduce caries is being supported by these studies. Ly, Milgrom and Rothen 2006 urge professional associations to push for clear recommendations of efficacious dose and frequency of xylitol use and for clear labelling of xylitol content in products. [68]

According to Seki 2011 xylitol gum is effective in avoiding increased plaque mutans streptococci in young children. [69]

Low-calorie sweeteners and obesity

Low-calorie sweeteners may be of help in resolving the obesity problem [70]

Replacing sugar with low-calorie sweeteners is a common strategy for facilitating weight control. However, arguments arise saying that intense sweeteners increase appetite for sweet foods, promote overeating, and may even lead to weight gain. Bellisle and Drewnowski in a review published in 2007 related to studies focused on energy density, satiety and the control of food intake stress that weight loss is best achieved by a combination of reducing caloric intake, lowering energy density of the diet, increasing physical activity, and sweeteners may help a lot.

The authors concluded that low-calorie (or no-calorie)sweeteners may be of help in resolving the obesity problem. However, new studies reopens the discussion related to the effect of sweeteners:

Components and/or physical form such as liquids are associated with rising obesity [71]

Energy-containing beverages have been implicated in the increasing incidence and prevalence of overweight and obesity. In 2006 Dr. R.D. Mattes from the University of Purdue wrote that epidemiological data indicates that caloric beverage consumption is positively associated with energy intake and body mass index. Caloric beverages elicit weak satiety and compensatory dietary responses, this being attributed to the components of beverages (e.g., carbohydrate form). Other theories say that the limited appetitive and dietary responses hold across beverage types.

Dr. Mattes concludes that the fluid medium rather than energy form or nutrient composition is responsible. He recommends moderate consumption of energy from beverages for example, substitution of one energy-yielding beverage for another may be less effective than reducing intake or switching to lower or non-energy sources.

The Purdue Study says sweeteners increase obesity [72]

Swithers and Terry Davidson observed in rats increased body weight gain, energy intake, adiposity, decreases in core body temperature, and blunted caloric compensation for sweet-tasting calories. This study was published in February 2008.

Animals may use sweet taste to predict the caloric contents of food. Eating sweet noncaloric substances may degrade this predictive relationship, leading to positive energy balance through increased food intake and/or diminished energy expenditure.

They concluded that consumption of products containing artificial sweeteners may lead to increased body weightand obesity by interfering with fundamental homeostatic, physiological processes.

A study on artificial sweeteners published in 2004 by Swithers and Davidson at Purdue University suggested that artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body's natural ability to "count" calories, and that sweetness in non-caloric or low-caloric foods leads to a disregulation of food intake in humans. The authors hypothesised hat experience with these foods interferes with the natural ability of the body to use sweet taste and viscosity to gauge caloric content of foods and beverages [73]

The 2004 Purdue study was strongly criticised by the National Soft Drink Association. The group cited researches conducted by Blackburn, Birch et al (1989) and Anderson et al (1989) that found replacing sugar with a high intensity sweetener in foods or beverages does not affect food intake or hunger in children.

Critic on the purdue study [74]

Beth Hubrich from the Calorie Control Council says that the study 2008 Purdue study oversimplifies the causes of obesity. She blames increasing portion sizes of foods, decreasing physical activity and increased overall calorie intake for the increasing obesity epidemic.

Artificial sweeteners promote weight gain [75]

Several studies claim that artificial non-caloric and low-caloric sweeteners promote weight gain as they disrupt the calorie prediction of the body and its capability to react accordingly to the nutritional intake. According to Tracy Hampton low-calorie sweeteners may promote weight gain.

Bellisle, Drewnowsku, 2007 in a review of studies about the effect of low-calorie sweeteners presented inconclusive results. [76]

Non-caloric sweetener disrupts the ability of the body to predict calorie intake [77]

Guido K.W. Frank and colleagues found that brain response distinguishes the caloric from the non-caloric sweetener, however, the conscious mind could not notice the caloric difference.

Sugar is a caloric predictor regulating energy balance, artificial sweeteners do not [78]

According to Swithers and Davidson 2008 sweet taste of sugar is a predictor of the caloric or nutritive consequences of eating. It evokes physiological responses that underlie tight regulation. The authors say that non-caloric sweeteners disrupt the validity as a caloric predictor, and contribute to deficits in the regulation of energy.

They concluded that artificial sweeteners may lead to increased body weight and obesity by interfering with positive energy balance through increased food intake and/or diminished energy expenditure.

Non-caloric sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame and sucralose and low-caloric sweeteners such as sorbitol,mannitol and maltitol, should be avoided in weight reduction diets. Intensive sweet tasting foods promote weight gain. These recent findings support general nutritional rules which call for a change of the nutritional habits. Changing from sweetened artificial flavoured foods and beverages to fruits, vegetables and low fat foods together with exercise will improve weight regulation and general health condition.

America on the Move initiative trial says that noncaloric sweeteners could address childhood obesity [79]

Rodearmel and colleagues 2007 assessed two groups of the America on the Move trial. One group was asked to walk an additional 2000 steps per day above baseline measured by pedometers and to eliminate 420 kJ/day (100 kcal/day) from their typical diet by replacing dietary sugar with a noncaloric sweetener. A self-monitoring second group group was asked to use pedometers to record physical activity but were not asked to change their diet or physical activity level.

Both groups of children showed significant decreases in BMI for age. However, the noncaloric sweetener group had a significantly higher reduction of BMI compared with the self-monitor group.

The authors concluded that the small-changes approach advocated by America on the Move could be useful for addressing childhood obesity.

D-Psicose, a naturally occurring sugar protecting against type 2 diabetes [80]

The consumption of simple sugar and and high caloric beverages and foods are considered to be major risk factors of diabetes and obesity. Chung et al. 2011 suggest that D-Psicose could become a strategy to reduce these risks. D-Psicose has 70% the sweetness of sucrose and no calories.

It is a naturally occurring sugar and can be made on a large scale using biocatalyst sources. It contribute to improve insulin resistance, and reduces hepatic lipogenesis and body weight gain in humans and animals. Some studies also cite protective activities against CVD and liver steatosis via hypoglycemic, hypoinsulinemic, and antioxidant mechanisms.

Hossain et al 2011 examined the effect of a diet of 5% D-psicose or 5% D-glucose supplemented in drinking water of rats. D-psicose reduced lipid accumulation in the liver, it enhanced the activity of glucokinase and the synthesis of glycogen in the liver, and acted as a protection of beta-cells of pancreatic islets. The authors concluded that D-psicose controls blood glucose levels by reducing lipotoxicity in liver and by preserving pancreatic beta-cell function. [81]

D-Psicose (D-allulose, D-ribo-2-hexulose, C6H12O6 is a monosaccharide sugar. It is a C-3 epimer of D-fructose. It is known as a "rare sugar" because it is rarely found in nature, and even when found, only in small amounts. Its name derives from the antibiotic psicofuranine, from which it can be isolated. In aqueous solution four intramolecular ring are formed in almost equal concentrations. The four ring forms of psicose are alfa-and beta-pyranose and alfa- and beta-furanose. [82]

Production of D-Psicose

Li et al 2011 describe an efficient synthesis of D-sobose and D-psicose using DHAP-dependent aldolase RhaD. [83]

Li et al 2011 use aldolase FucA from a thermophilic source (Thermus thermophilus HB8) enzymes to obtain the rare sugars d-psicose, d-sorbose, l-tagatose, and l-fructose. DL-GP (DL-glycerol 3-phosphate) as starting material reduce costs. [84]

According to Choi et al.2011 the I33L S213C enzyme obtained from Agrobacterium tumefaciens may be useful as an industrial producer of D-psicose. The I33L S213C immobilized variant of D-psicose 3-epimerase, with and without borate, presented a conversion yield of up to 70% (350 g/liter psicose). [85]

Mu et al 3011 report the cloning of Escherichia coli to expressed the protein ACL75304 of the the gene Ccel-0941 from Clostridium cellulolyticum H10 (ATCC 35319) to express D-psicose 3-epimerase. The enzyme has a maximal activity in the presence of Co(2+) at 55° and pH 8.0. At 60° the half-lives for the enzyme were 6.8 hours in presence of Cobal(2+) but only10 min without the metal. The enzyme epimerized d-fructose to d-psicose with a conversion yield of 32% under optimal conditions. [86]

Suggested strategies to reduce consume of high caloric beverages
Calorie information may reduce consumption of sugar sweetened beverages [

Bleich et al 2011 examined the effect of caloric information about sugar-sweetened beverages and their consume. Sugar sweetened beverages, like soda, fruit drink, sports drink, vitamin water and hug, contain 250 calories per bottle, which is 10% of total recommended daily intake and equals 50 minutes of jogging.

In this study soda (40%) and fruit drinks (34%) were found to be the most frequently bought soft drink. The authors found that posting 3 signs with absolute caloric count, percentage of total recommended daily intake, and physical activity equivalent. significantly reduced the sugar-sweetened beverages purchases. The best effect was obtained with the physical activity equivalent sign. The data of the study suggest that providing caloric information, such as the physical activity equivalent may reduce caloric intake.

Tax on sugar sweetened beverages could reverse obesity trend

Popkin et al 2011 studied trends in beverage intake and purchases in Great Britain from 1986 to 2009. The authors calculated that a 10% increase in the price of sugar sweetened beverages could potentially result in a decrease of 7,5 ml/capita per day, and a reduction of high-fat milk purchases by 5 ml/capita per d and increased reduced-fat milk purchase by 7 ml/capita per d. Taxation or other methods of shifting relative costs of these beverages could be a way to reduce the consume of high caloric beverages. [88]

E967 Xilit

E999 Quillaia extract

Chemicals not grouped in classes

E number range Description
1100-1599 Chemicals not grouped in classes

E1105 Lysozyme

E1200 Polydextrose

E1201 Polyvinylpyrrolidon

E1202 Polyvinylpropylpyrrolidon

Modified starch

E1404 oxidized starch

The name used for the ingredients list is "modified starch".

E1410 Monostarch phosphate

The name used for the ingredients list is "modified starch".

E1412 Distarch phosphate

The name used for the ingredients list is " modified starch".
Distarch phosphate has been requested for use up to 10g/l (reconstituted dry powders) and 22g/l (liquids) in infant formulae and follow-on formulae for infants and young children in good health and in FSMPs.

In its 1992 opinion the SCF recommended distarch phosphate should not be permitted in infant formulae because the Committee would prefer to see direct evidence indicating that infants can tolerate the 2.5% level of modified starches then requested. The current request is for use up to 2.2%.

A concern was also raised that infants could develop fermentative diarrhoea or modification of the gut flora. No new information on these aspects have been found. Furthermore, the Committee is not persuaded there is a need for use of distarch phosphate in instant formulae generally. The Committee does not consider that the use of distarch phosphate is acceptable in infant formulae, follow-on formulae for infants and young children in good health and in FSMP. [89]

E1413 Phosphated distarch phosphate

The name used for the ingredients list is "modified starch".

E1414 Acetylated distach phosphate

The name used for the ingredients list is "modified starch".

E1420 Acetylated starch

The name used for the ingredients list is "modified starch".

E1422 Acetylated distarch adipate

The name used for the ingredients list is "modified starch".

E1440 Hydroxypropyl starch

The name used for the ingredients list is "modified starch".

E1442 Hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate

The name used for the ingredients list is "modified starch".

E1450 Starch sodium octenyl succinate

The name used for the ingredients list is "modified starch".

Sweet potato starches and their use [90]

Lockwood, King and Labonte studied the starch of white- and orange-fleshed Beauregard sweet potato and the effects of amino acid additives, aspartic acid, leucine, lysine, and methionine, on their pasting and thermal characteristics.

The authors found that starch from orange-fleshed sweet potato could easier be cooked, had a lower retrogradation and stability during heating than the white-fleshed sweet potato starch.

The addition of charged amino acids, aspartic acid and lysine, altered pasting characteristics of the 2 starches more than the neutral amino acids, leucine and methionine.

The positively-charged amino acid, lysine and negatively charged aspartic acid, decreased the viscosity of starch paste of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes improving the cooking time.
Lysine increased the stability of orange-fleshed sweet potato starch during cooking.
Aspartic acid had similar effects on both starches, reduced the cooking stability and lowered retrogradation.

The authors concluded that the addition amino acids can be used to alter properties of sweet potato starches can be altered. Blends of sweet potato starches with amino acids may avoid the use of modified starches such as oxidyzed starches, phosphate starches, or acetylated starches.

E1505 Triethyl citrate

E1518 Glyceryl triacetate

Food additive additive List FDA
The Food Additives Status List organizes additives found in many parts of 21 CFR into one alphabetized list. Additives included are those specified in the regulations promulgated under the FD&C Act, under Sections 401 (Food Standards), and 409 (Food Additives). The list also includes selected pesticide chemicals from 40 CFR 180 for which EPA has set tolerances in food.

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 for Food and Drugs under paragraph 172.892 regulates modified food starches.
This is an informational database of more than 3000 total substances comprise an inventory maintained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). [91] dms/eafus.html
Complete List of modified food starch in US: In Food and Drug Administration Title 21-Food and Drugs-Chapter 1 Food for Human Consumption all modified starches are cited. Special informations concerning limitations are given. [92]


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See also: Related OurFood News
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