E-numbers or additives have a variety of roles which include:

  • They can add colour or generally improve the appearance of food.
  • They can help to sweeten food and drinks.
  • They can act as flavour enhancers.
  • They can help to bind food together or ‘gel’.
  • They can increase the shelf-life of food.

These are all positive attributes but controversy has arisen over the safety of these additives.

Many additives are derived from natural sources but others have been artificially made and it’s these synthetic versions which have caused this controversy. Questions have been raised about whether they are actually required in our food.

Food Labelling Guide Index:

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