1. Please can you explain what are E No’s?
E-Numbers represent specific food additives, used by the industry in the manufacture of various food products. These E-Numbers have been formulated by the European Economic Community (EEC) and are universally adopted by the food industry worldwide.
The E-numbers are categorised as follows:
E100-199 food colours
E300-399 antioxidants, phosphates, and complexing agents
E400-499 thickeners, gelling agents, phosphates, humectants, emulsifiers
E500-599 salts and related compounds
E600-699 flavour enhancers
E700-899 not used for food additives (used for feed additives)
E900-999 surface coating agents, gases, sweeteners
E1000-1399 miscellaneous additives
E1400-1499 starch derivatives
Yes, there are few additives which are “always” of animal origin, such as:
E120 Cochineal : a red colour obtained from female insects
E441 Gelatine : derived from the bones and/ or hides of cattle and/ or pigs
E542 Edible Bone Phosphate : an extract from animal bones
Whilst some additives with a common code such as E471, can be either of animal or plant origin and this latter type needs to be investigated on a case-by-case basis per product/ manufacturer.
Most of the additives are however suitable.