WHO ARE VEGANS?

The people who do not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or in some cases any food derived from animals sources such as eggs and dairy products, but consumes vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and foods derived from sources other than animals.

What are E-Numbers?

E numbers are codes for substances that are permitted to be used as food additives like colorants, flavorings, antioxidants, preservatives, stabilizers, thickeners, etc. E Numbers adhere to an international numbering system so that their use in food can be regulated.

Where do These E-Numbers come from?

Food additives are found in many foods. There are literally thousands of them. They can come from some really wonderful as well as some weird sources that we usually cannot imagine, and many are of plant and animal origins. In the food industry, these have to be declared in lists of ingredients on packaging, and are referred to as 'E numbers.' 

Why are E-Numbers added to Food?

One may wonder that why are so many E-numbers added to foods and drinks these days, but they are added for various reasons. Each additive which is referred to as E-number included in products plays a specific role. 

E-Numbers and Their Roles

There are several different types of E numbers, and each of them plays their own role in food, although some of them may play a prominent role while others play a subtle character. Understanding their role can make it much easier for you while shopping for food according to your requirements. 

Acidity Regulators: The E numbers that work as acidity regulators are used to alter and control the acid and alkaline levels in the foods.

Anti-Caking Agents: These E numbers helps the ingredients from coagulating or sticking together.

Anti-foaming Agents: These additives help to prevent or reduce foaming that happens in foods.

Antioxidants: These E numbers play the role of preserving foods. They help to prevent the effects that oxygen naturally had on food, by slowing down the decay of products.

Bulking Agents: These E numbers are added to foods to bulk them up and make them seem more filling.

Colors: These E numbers also called coloring agents are added to foods and drinks to help make them look more attractive and appealing, or to give foods their natural color that the ingredients lost while processing the food items.

Colour Retention Agents: As the name indicates these additives or E numbers are used to help preserve the natural color of food without adding artificial colorings.

Emulsifiers: These E numbers are included in the making of foods to ensure that when oil and water are mixed together, they stay together and don’t get separated. 

Flavorings: As the name depicts, these additives are used to enhance the flavor of foods. They are derived from both artificial or natural sources. They make food and drinks tasty and pleasant.

Flavour Enhancers: These E numbers work almost the same as flavors, but are used to enhance the already present taste and flavor of food. They can come from either artificial or natural sources.

Humectants: These E numbers or additives are included in foods to prevent it from drying out.

Flour Agents: These are used when flour is included as an ingredient like in baking products so, that they help to improve the color or look of flour when it is baked.

Preservatives: These additives are used to help preserve the life of products. As they help prevent food from decaying, growing fungi, or from other kinds of bacteria.

Stabilizers: They are added to the products to prevent them from separating. They are also added to foods as a gelling agent or thickener as they help products to gel together.

Sweeteners: As the name indicates, these additives are used to sweeten up the products. They are added to improve the taste and flavor of foods and drinks. Sweeteners are typically sugar-based, but low-calorie sweeteners are used to keep the calorie level of products lower than regular sugars.

Thickeners: These E numbers or additives are used in food items to improve the thickness and look of products.

E-Numbers Definitely Containing Animal Products/Derivatives

These are the additives that by all means, come from animals, so if you are strictly following the vegan diet, you must have to avoid them.

E120 – Cochineal (crushed scale of Dactylopius Coccus, a type of cactus beetle)

E441 – Gelatine (animal hoof/skin)

E542 – Bone Phosphate (Essentiale Calcium Phosphate, Tribasic)

E631 – Disodium inosinate (fish derivative)

E635 – Disodium ribonucleotides

E901 – Beeswax

E904 – Shellac (insect origin)

E966 – Lactitol (a milk derivative)

E1105 – Lysozyme (found in egg whites)

E-Numbers Possibly Containing Animal Products/Derivatives

Well, as we have already mentioned that E numbers are extracted from various sources. So some can be derived from both animal and plant sources.

E104 – Quinoline Yellow

E160 – Alpha-, beta-, gamma carotene

E161 – Canthaxanthin

E252 – Potassium Nitrate

E270 – Lactic Acid

E304 – Ascorbyl Palmitate

E304 – Ascorbyl Stearate

E322 – Lecithin (may be made from eggs)

E325 – Sodium Lactate

E326 – Potassium Lactate

E327 – Calcium Lactate

E422 – Glycerol/Glycerin

E430 – Polyoxyethylenes

E431 – Polyoxyethylenes

E432 – Polyoxyethylenes

E433 – Polyoxyethylenes

E434 – Polyoxyethylenes

E435 – Polyoxyethylenes

E436 – Polyoxyethylenes

E442 – Ammonium Phosphotides

E445 – Glycerol esters of wood resin

E470(a) – Sodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids

E470(b) – Magnesium salts of fatty acids

E471 – Mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids

E472(a) – Acetic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

E472(b) – Lactic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

E472(c) – Citric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

E472(d) – Tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

E472(e) – Mono- and di-acetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids

E472(f) – Mixed acetic and tartaric acid esters of mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids

E473 – contains fatty acids

E474 – Sucroglycerides

E475 – Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids

E476 – Polyglycerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids of castor oil

E477 – contains fatty acids

E479(b) – contains fatty acids

E481 – Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate

E482 – Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate

E483 – Stearyl tartrate

E491 – Sorbitan

E492 – Sorbitan

E493 – Sorbitan

E494 – Sorbitan

E495 – Sorbitan

E570 – Stearic acid

E585 – Ferrous Lactate

E640 – Glycine and its sodium salt

E920 – L-Cysteine and L-Cysteine hydrochloride

E1518 – Triacetin

E-Numbers Containing No Animal Products

As a vegan, you might want to know about those E numbers which are entirely safe for you to consume. So, here is the list of all types of additives that are derived from non-animal sources.

Food coloringsPreservativesAntioxidantsAnti-Caking AgentsFlavor enhancersMiscellaneousAdditional chemicals
E100
E101
E101a
E102
E103
E104
E105
E106
E107
E110
E111
E121
E122
E123
E124
E125
E126
E127
E128
E129
E130
E131
E132
E133
E140
E141
E142
E143
E150a
E150b
E150c
E150d
E151
E152
E154
E155
E160a
E160b
E160c
E160d
E160e
E160f
E161a
E161b
E161c
E161d
E161e
E161f
E162
E163
E170
E171
E172
E173
E174
E175
E180
E181
E200
E201
E202
E203
E210
E211
E212
E213
E214
E215
E216
E217
E218
E219
E220
E221
E222
E223
E224
E225
E226
E227
E228
E230
E231
E232
E233
E234
E235
E236
E237
E238
E239
E240
E242
E249
E250
E251
E260
E261
E262
E263
E264
E280
E281
E282
E283
E284
E285
E290
E296
E297
E300
E301
E302
E303
E304
E306
E307
E308
E309
E310
E311
E312
E315
E316
E317
E318
E319
E320
E321
E329
E330
E331
E332
E333
E334
E335
E336
E337
E338
E339
E340
E341
E343
E350
E351
E352
E353
E354
E355
E356
E357
E363
E365
E366
E367
E370
E375
E380
E381
E385
E400
E401
E402
E403
E404
E405
E406
E407
E407a
E410
E412
E413
E414
E415
E416
E417
E418
E420
E421
E425
E440
E444
E445
E450
E451
E452
E459
E460
E461
E462
E463
E464
E465
E466
E468
E469
E500
E501
E503
E504
E507
E508
E509
E510
E511
E512
E513
E517
E518
E519
E520
E521
E522
E523
E524
E525
E526
E527
E528
E529
E530
E535
E536
E538
E540
E541
E543
E544
E545
E550
E551
E552
E553b
E554
E555
E556
E558
E559
E574
E575
E576
E577
E578
E579
E585
E620
E621
E622
E623
E624
E625
E626
E628
E629
E630
E632
E633
E634
E636
E637
E900
E902
E903
E905
E905a
E905b
E905c
E906
E907
E908
E912
E914
E915
E922
E923
E924
E925
E926
E927
E297b
E928
E930
E938
E939
E940
E941
E942
E943a
E943b
E944
E948
E949
E950
E951
E952
E953
E954
E955
E957
E959
E965
E966
E967
E999
E1103
E1105
E1106
E1107
E1108
E1109
E1110
E1111
E1112
E1113
E1114
E1115
E1116
E1117
E1118
E1119
E1120
E1121
E1122
E1123
E1124
E1125
E1126
E1127
E1128
E1129
E1130
E1131
E1132
E1133
E1134
E1135
E1136
E1137
E1138
E1139
E1140
E1141
E1142
E1143
E1144
E1145
E1146
E1147
E1148
E1149
E1150
E1151
E1152
E1153
E1154
E1155
E1156
E1157
E1158
E1159
E1160
E1161
E1162
E1163
E1164
E1165
E1166
E1167
E1168
E1169
E1170
E1171
E1172
E1173
E1174
E1175
E1176
E1177
E1178
E1179
E1180
E1181
E1182
E1183
E1184
E1185
E1186
E1187
E1188
E1189
E1190
E1191
E1192
E1193
E1194
E1195
E1196
E1197
E1198
E1199
E1200
E1201
E1202
E1400
E1401
E1402
E1403
E1404
E1410
E1412
E1413
E1414
E1420
E1421
E1422
E1430
E1440
E1441
E1442
E1450
E1451
E1505
E1510
E1518
E1520