Important E-Numbers to Avoid

  • By: The DIG for Kids
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Health specialists around the world are becoming increasingly convinced that the additives in processed foods are firmly linked to the dramatic rise in Children’s Allergies.

However, despite mounting evidence, there has been very few restrictions placed on the food manufacturers in the UK and the USA.

Some countries have displayed a more responsible attitude and, as you will see from the lists below, have banned certain substances.

Particular attention has been paid to infants and children’s products because their immature organs are less efficient at removing such toxins from their systems.

Unfortunately, it makes frightening reading.

Please note that when reading the following lists, if a substance is shown as being banned in several countries, it means that the adverse effects are too numerous to list.

These E numbers should be avoided AT ALL TIMES.

Any substance marked with * means that it is derived from animals (mostly pigs) and should be avoided if a child has pork allergies.

E FOR ADDITIVES (Completely Revised Bestselling Number Guide)
  • New
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Colourant E numbers banned in some countries:
  • E102 Tartrazine, yellow colourant – used in all manner of foodstuffs
  • E104 Quinoline Yellow – used in all manner of foodstuffs and to colour medicines
  • E107 Yellow 7G – used in soft drinks
  • E110* Sunset Yellow FCF, Orange Yellow S – used in all manner of foodstuffs and medications
  • E120* Cochineal, red colour
  • E123 Amaranth – in cake mixes, fruit flavoured fillings, jelly crystals
  • E124 Ponceau 4R, Cochineal RedA
  • E127 Erythrosine red colourant – glace cherries, canned fruit, custard mix, sweets, snack foods
  • E128 Red 2G
  • E129 Allura red AC – in sweets, drinks and medications
  • E131 Patent blue V
  • E132* Indigotine, Indigo carmine – ice cream, sweets, baked goods, confectionery, biscuits
  • E133 Brilliant blue FCF – dairy products, sweets and drinks
  • E142 Green S – canned peas, mint jelly and sauce, packet bread crumbs and cake mixes
  • E151 Brilliant Black BN, Black PN – brown sauces, blackcurrant cake mixes
  • E153* black colourant used in jams, jelly crystals and liquorice
  • E155 brown HT (chocolate) used in chocolate cake mixes
  • E160(c)* Paprika extract
  • E173 Aluminium colourant
  • E174 Silver colourant
  • E175 Gold colourant
  • E180 Latolrubine BK
A-Z Guide to Food Additives: Never Eat What You Can't Pronounce (Meal Planner, Food Counter, Grocery List, Shopping for Healthy Food)
  • Minich PhD, Deanna M. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 158 Pages - 08/01/2009 (Publication Date) - Conari Press (Publisher)
Preservative E numbers banned in some countries:
  • E214 Ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate
  • E215 Sodium ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate
  • E217 sodium propyl p-hydroxybenzoate
  • E219 Sodium methyl p-hydroxybenzoate
  • E226 Calcium sulphite
  • E227 Calcium hydrogen sulphite
  • E228 Potassium hydrogen sulphite
  • E230 Biphenyl, Diphenyl
  • E231 Orthophenyl phenol
  • E232 Sodium orthophenyl phenol
  • E233 Thiabendazole
  • E236 Formic acid
  • E237 Sodium formate
  • E238 Calcium formate
  • E239 Hexamethylene tetramine
  • E249 Potassium nitrite
  • E252* Potassium nitrite
Acids, antioxidants and mineral salts E numbers banned in certain countries:
  • E310, E311, E312 – various gallates used in oils, fats and salad dressings
  • E320 Butylated hydroxyl-anisole (BHA)
  • E363 Succinic acid
  • E370 1,4-Heptonolactone
  • E385 Calcium disodium EDTA
A Consumer's Guide to Toxic Food Additives: How to Avoid Synthetic Sweeteners, Artificial Colors, Msg, and More
  • Bonvie, Linda (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 216 Pages - 03/17/2020 (Publication Date) - Skyhorse Publishing (Publisher)
Vegetable gums, Emulsifiers and Stabiliser E numbers banned in certain countries:
  • E420 Sorbitol
  • E421 Mannitol
  • E432* Polysorbate 20
  • E434* Polysorbate 40
  • E463 Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose
  • E470* Fatty acids salts
  • E474* Sucroglycerides
  • E483* Stearyl tartrate
  • E493* Sorbitan monolaurate
  • E494* Sorbitan mono-oleate
  • E495* Sorbitan monopalmitate
Mineral salts and anti-caking agents E numbers banned in some countries:
  • E513 Sulphuric acid
  • E524 Sodium hydroxide
  • E525 Potassium hydroxide
  • E527 Ammonium hydroxide
  • E528 Magnesium hydroxide
  • E530 Magnesium oxide
  • E540 Dicalcium diphosphate
  • E541 Sodium aluminium phosphate
  • E544 Calcium polyphosphates
  • E545 Ammonium polyphosphates
  • E553(a) Magnesium silicates
  • E576 Sodium gluconate
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Flavour enhancer E numbers banned in some countries:
  • E626, E627, E629 – various guanylates
  • E635* Disodium 5′-ribonucleotide – flavoured crisps, instant noodles, pies
Miscellaneous E numbers banned in some countries
  • E907* Refined microcrystalline wax – sweets, dried fruit.
  • E927 Azodicarbonamide
  • E952 Cyclamic acid – artificial sweetener
  • E954 Saccharines – artificial sweetener
E numbers, not in the banned lists, that are believed to cause allergic reactions ranging from Hyperactivity to asthma, migraines, rashes and digestive upsets:
  • E120* Cochineal, Carminic acid – red colourant
  • E150(a), (b), (c), (d) – caramel colourants
  • E160(b) Annatto – used to dye cheese, butter, margarine, cereals, snack foods
  • E210* Benzoic acid – preservative in baked goods, cheeses, gum, ice creams, relishes, soft sweets, cordials
  • E211 Sodium benzoate – orange soft drinks, milk and meat products, relishes, baked goods, ice lollies and lollipops and in medications
  • E212 Potassium benzoate – as E211
  • E220 Sulphur dioxide – soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, potato products.
  • E221, E222, E223, E224, E225 – as E220
  • E235 Natamycin – meat, cheese
  • E249, E250, E252* – various nitrites used in the preservation of meat
  • E280, E281, E282, E283 – various propionates used in bread and flour products
  • E296 Malic acid
  • E319 Tert-ButylHydroQuinone
  • E320 Butylated hydroxyl-anisole
  • E412 Guar Gum
  • E413 Tragacanth
  • E414 Acacia
  • E416 Karaya Gum
  • E441* Gelatine
  • E620* Glutamic acid – flavour enhancer
  • E621 Monosodium glutamate – flavour enhancer
  • E951* Aspartame – artificial sweetener
  • E967 Xylitol – used in low-calorie foods

Please note that the above lists are not comprehensive in that they do not include E numbers that relate specifically to Lactose Intolerance or gluten intolerance in children.

If your child has been diagnosed with those conditions, then your GP should have given you a list of E numbers to avoid.


If your child has already been diagnosed with a food allergy or intolerance then it is incredibly important that you avoid the above additives.

A lot of artificial flavourings, colourants and preservatives are derived from animal products so you must also be careful of foods containing those ingredients in case they cause problems for your child.

One thing that can’t be stressed enough is this: It doesn’t matter how picky your child is about food; they MUST eat a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables in order to get the nutrients that their body needs.

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