Life under code E
Studying the information on the product packaging, we practically do not notice the ingredients with code E. However, it is worth not only learning how to read this "cipher", but also choosing the safest products.
What is hidden under the letter E?
International code E was introduced to facilitate the transportation and marketing of products in different countries. Little informative inscriptions like "permitted dye" were abolished. The unified register of such additives was introduced by decision of the European Economic Community (EEC) on January 1, 1986. The letter E means "Europe", and the digital index shows the substance belonging to a particular class.
From time to time, the list is updated: as soon as a new food additive comes into practice, she immediately receives her code.
Nutritional supplements: harm or benefit?
Salt and sugar are also nutritional supplements. Probably, today it is already difficult to imagine our life without them. They not only give food a pleasant taste, look, but also help to keep it longer. However, an excess of salt and sugar is harmful to the body. The same can be said about other nutritional supplements: yes, you can eat them (they are also “food”), but be careful (after all, they are “supplements”, not food). Even experts advocating their use say that if you want to maintain health, it is better to limit the amount of products with these ingredients.
Only a small number of these substances exist in nature. For example, vitamin C or lecithin. But nutritional supplements are not necessarily "made from petroleum." Many of them are made from natural ingredients. And for our health, such additives are no more harmful than the above salt and sugar.
But there are among these substances and hazardous to health. They provoke the development of allergic reactions and serious diseases. Therefore, each hostess should have a list of food additives prohibited in our country. Unscrupulous manufacturers can use these substances in their products, and our task is to recognize them.
Each state has its own list of additives approved for use in the food industry. And substances approved, for example, in our country, may be banned in the United States, United Kingdom and EU countries.
Most E-substances used in industry are safety tested. Most, but not all. And here lies another danger. After all, the list of food additives is revised from time to time. And substances that are complaints or that are "burned" in the studies are excluded from the list. So even the "allowed" additive does not mean "safe."
Finally, there are substances that are selectively dangerous - for children with asthma, allergies, etc. And about such additives, you also need to have information.
What are some supplements?
By index number, supplements are divided into several groups.
Dyes (E100 - E182). Dyes give products a more appetizing, "marketable" look. Many of them are of natural origin. For example, chlorophyll. However, most dyes are still of artificial origin.
The number of permitted food colors is likely to decrease, as some of them already have doubts about the safety (especially with regard to black, brown, red, yellow and green dyes). However, some natural substances used as food dyes are permitted for use, but do not have an E-code (paprika).
E105, E106, E111, E121, E123, E125, E126, E127, E130, E154, E161h, E161I, E161j, E164, E165, E166, E173, E180.
Fresh meat, fish, fruits and vegetables should not contain dyes.
Preservatives (E 200-E297). Preservatives are additives that inhibit the growth of microorganisms, allowing you to store food longer.
Of course, we do not live in an ideal world. It is clear that it is better to eat fresh vegetables from the garden or eat fresh meat. But until the products from the farm get to our table, it will take a lot of time. And it is much safer to eat a product that contains a preservative than a spoiled product. And you can buy food without preservatives only if you are sure that it is fresh.
Preservation as a way to extend the shelf life has been used since time immemorial. One of the first people began to use sulfur dioxide. The ancient Greeks, before sealing the wine, burned sulfur on it. And so it came out food additive - sulfur dioxide. It is used in wines and many other foods today.
Some preservatives also have additional properties. So, for example, vinegar is used as a flavoring agent, and carbon dioxide is used as a propellant in aerosols.
Some supplements from this group are also classified as multifunctional, as they provide other effects. These include E260, E261, E262, E290.
E233, E240 (formaldehyde), E241 (guaiac gum), E243, E284 (boric acid), E285 (sodium tetraborate, borax), E295.
Antioxidants (E 300-E391). In food production, antioxidants (antioxidants) are widely used - substances that slow down the oxidation process. The group of antioxidants is very diverse. This includes both natural or identical natural substances (vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and E (tocopherol)), and other substances whose safety is still in doubt (E320 and E321).
E313, E324, E344, E370, E388, E389, E390, E399.
Emulsifiers and stabilizers (E400-E585). Emulsifiers and acidity regulators help make the mixture homogeneous. Stabilizers (E400-E496) - help to create the necessary consistency of products. Lecithin (E322) in order to save is usually obtained from soy. Most emulsifiers and stabilizers are safe and natural.
Sweeteners. These are E420-E 421, E 950-999 and other codes.
There are a number of diseases in which sugar is contraindicated. In this case, to meet the need for sweets it is allowed to eat sugar substitutes. These supplements are used in chewing gum and toothpaste to eliminate the harmful effects of glucose. In other cases, the use of these substances is not justified. Sweeteners should be used only in the presence of medical indications. Healthy people are better to use natural sugar. Many sugar substitutes have undesirable side effects and are not well understood. Only two permitted sweeteners are code E. It is sorbitol (E 420) and mannitol (mannitol) - E 421.
In 1983, acesulfame potassium (E950), aspartame (E951), thaumatin (E957) and xylitol (E967) were added to the allowed sweeteners. Over time, the list has become more extensive. Nowadays, hydrogenated syrup of glucose, isomaltose (E953) and saccharin (E954) are actively used in food production.
Sugar (sucrose), glucose (dextrose), fructose (fruit sugar) and lactose (milk sugar) are more likely food than sweeteners.
Solvents (E422, etc.). Some liquids that are not natural can be used to dissolve products. The most common of them is ethyl alcohol (ethanol). Ethyl acetate and glycerols are permitted.
Various types of wax (Е900-909). Mineral hydrocarbons are used in the food industry to protect products from moisture loss and impart a "glossy shine". Waxes are allowed for use in dried fruits, chewy candies, confectionery, cheese rind.
E408, E424, E429, E448, E485, E486, E487, E488, E489.
E512, E537, E540, E543, E544, E545, E557.
E915, E916, E917, E918, E919, E922, E923, E924, E924b, E925, E926, E929, E956, E961.
Be careful: E450 polyphosphates enable the manufacturer to "mix" water into meat products unnoticed by the consumer.
Substances with code E can perform many different functions. For example, monosodium glutamate is used not only as a flavor modifier. It is used to create glazes, in food aerosols, as an additive that increases the volume of the product, and as part of antifoam substance.
Some supplements, especially ethanolamine, are not allowed to children. Therefore, buying peeled vegetables and fruits for a child, be careful. This substance should not be included in their composition.
By the way, HACSG (The Hyperactive Children's Support Group - the Hyperactive Children Support Group) recommends parents a special diet for such babies. Firstly, experts advise to exclude all products that include synthetic dyes or taste-enhancing additives, glutamates, nitrites, nitrates and benzoic acid. During the first six weeks of the diet, you should not give your child foods that contain natural salicylates (salt or salicylic acid ester).
- E102 tartrazine (yellow dye)
- E104 quinoline yellow (yellow-green dye)
- E107 yellow "sunset" or orange yellow S (orange-yellow dye)
- E110 yellow 2G
- E120 carmine, carminic acid
- E122 karmazin (red)
- E123 amaranth
- E127 Ponso (Crimson 4R)
- E128 red 2G
- E132 Indigo Carmine
- E133 blue shiny
- E150 sugar color (brown)
- E151 black ST
- E154 brown FK
- E155 Brown HT
- E210 benzoic acid
- E211 sodium benzoate
- E220 sulfur dioxide
- E250 sodium nitrite
- E251 calcium nitrite
- E320 butylhydroxyanisole
- E321 butylhydroxytoluene, ionol
E212, E213, E214, E215, E216, E217, E218, E219.
- E310 propyl gallate,
- E311 Octyl Gallate,
- E312 dodecyl gallate.
- Amplifiers of taste and flavors:
- E621 monosodium glutamine,
- E622 potassium glutaminate,
- E623 calcium glutaminate,
- E627 sodium guanylate,
- E631 sodium inosinate,
- E635 ribonucleotide sodium.