E Numbers Not Suitable for a Halal Diet
If you’re following a halal diet for religious reasons then it’s important to know which E numbers aren’t suitable to be consumed. Here we explore which numbers you should be avoiding.
The term halal is an Arabic word that means permissible and refers to food that is permissible to eat according to Islamic laws. As a result of these laws, foods such as pork, or any product containing ingredients sourced from pork, such as gelatine, are unable to be consumed by Muslims. The situation can be a bit tricky when it comes to E numbers, as in order to be sure that they are halal, you need to know the full origins of the additive.
The origins can sometimes vary. For example, in the case of antioxidants such as E306 (tocopherol), it is halal if the tocopherol comes from plant fat. However, it’s not halal if the tocopherol is obtained from pork fat. Some of the other E numbers that can be variable include:
- E470 to E483 – these emulsifiers can be halal, unless they are obtained from pork or non-halal meat sources.
- E542 – edible bone phosphate. This isn’t halal if it comes from pork or non-halal sources.
- E422 – glycerol or glycerine. This can be halal, unless it is obtained from pork or non-halal meat sources.
Halal Unsuitable E Numbers
- E120 – cochineal
- E140 – chlorophyll
- E141 – copper phaeophytins
- E252 – potassium nitrate
- E422 – glycerol/glycerine
- E430 – polyoxyethelene (8) stearate
- E431 - polyoxyethelene (40) stearate
- E433 – polysorbate 80
- E470 – sodium salts
- E471 – glyceryl monosterate
- E472a – acetic esters of fatty acids
- E472b - lactic esters of fatty acids
- E472c - citric esters of fatty acids
- E472d - tartaric esters of fatty acids
- E472e - acetyltartaric esters of fatty acids
- E473 – sucrose esters
- E474 – sucroglycerides
- E475 - polyglycerol esters of fatty acids
- E476 - polyglycerol polyricinoleate
- E477 - propylene glycol esters
- E478 - lactylated glycerol esters
- E491 - sorbitan monostearate
- E492 - sorbitan Tristearate
- E494 - sorbitan mono-oleate
- E542 - edible bone phosphate
- E570 – stearic acid
- E572 – magnesium stearate
- E631 – sodium 5 inosinate
- E635 – sodium 5 ribonucleotide
- E904 - shellac