E300 - E399 Antioxidants and Acidity Regulators
The E numbers prefixed from 300 to 399 are mostly antioxidants and acidity regulators with the odd few other additives thrown in too. Here we look at what they all are and why they’re included in foods and drinks.
AntioxidantsAntioxidants are used in foods in a similar way to preservatives, as they play a key role in extending the shelf life of products and helping improve taste and the look of food. They also help reduce a process known as enzyme browning, which is when fruits and vegetables become discoloured after a while.
Antioxidants can be both manmade/synthetic and natural. An example of a natural antioxidant found on the list below is E300, ascorbic acid, which is in fact vitamin C. Additionally, several tocopherols are listed from E306 to E309, and these are natural ingredients from the vitamin E family.
As far as synthetic antioxidants go, one classic example is the gallates, which occur from E310 to E312. These are a key ingredient in products such as margarine and oil, acting as a preservative to keep products lasting longer.
Acidity RegulatorsAdditives called acidity regulators are used to help control or change the alkaline or acid levels in foods. It helps products become more palatable to eat and ensures foods stay like that as they are being made (sometimes the stages of processing can otherwise alter foods, if additives such as this aren’t included).
The sharp-eyed amongst you may have noticed that acidity regulators are also listed as being prefixed in the E500 to E599 category. That’s certainly true, but there are also a few acidity regulators lurking within the E300 to E399 category. They’ve mainly been categorised in this way as they also serve other roles too.
Added ExtrasWithin the E300 to E399 there are a few red herrings too. These are additives that have been classified to lie within this group, but aren’t actually an antioxidant or an acidity regulator. This is because there have been times when it just seemed easier for the classification experts to include them there – where possible the groups stick to their overall categories, but on some occasions, there are added extras included. Where these occur, they are noted on the list below.
It is also worth noting that many additives have numerous roles. There are several antioxidants and acidity regulators that also serve additional purposes.
Complete Reference Guide to Antioxidants and Acidity RegulatorsThe following list offers a complete reference guide to all the antioxidants and acidity regulators found within the E300 to E399 category. If you’re keen to avoid buying products with these E numbers in, or want to keep track of what additives are in certain products you’ve considering purchasing, then why not print out this list and take it with you when you go shopping.
E300 – L-ascorbic acid
E301 – Sodium L-ascorbate
E302 – Calcium L-ascorbate
E304 – 6-0-palmitoyl-L-ascorbic acid
E306 – Extracts of tocopherols
E307 – Alfa-tocopherol
E308 – Gamma-tocopherol
E309 – Delta-tocopherol
E310 – Propyl gallate
E311 – Octyl gallate
E312 – Dodecyl gallate
E313 – Thiodipropionic acid
E314 – Guaiac gum
E315 – Erythorobic acid
E316 – Sodium erythorbate
E319 – Butylhydroxinon
E320 – Butylated hydroxyanisole
E321 – Butylated hydroxytoluene
E322 – Lecithin – a natural emulsifier
E325 – Sodium lactate
E326 – Potassium lactate
E327 – Calcium lactate
E330 – Citric acid
E331 – Sodium citrates
E332 – Potassium citrates – a buffer and emulsifying salt.
E333 – Mono, di and tri-calcium citrate – a buffer, firming agent, emulsifying salt, sequestrant and flour improver.
E334 – L-(+)-tartaric acid
E335 – Mono / di sodium L-(+)-tartate
E336 – Mono potassium L-(+)-tartate
E337 – Potassium sodium L-(+)-tartate
E338 – Phosphoric acid – a buffer
E339 – Sodium orthophosphates – a buffer
E440 – Potassium orthophosphates – a buffer
E341 – Magnesium orthophosphates – a buffer
E350 – Sodium malate
E351 – Potassium malate
E352 – Calcium malate
E353 – Meta tartaric acid – an emulsifier
E354 – Calcium tartarate
E355 – Adipic acid
E356 – Sodium adipate
E357 – Potassium adipate
E363 – Succinic acid
E365 – Sodium fumarate
E370 – 1,4, Heptonolactone
E375 – Nicotonic acid – a colour protector
E380 – Tri-ammonium citrate
E385 – Calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetra-acetate – a sequestrant
E386 – Disodium ethylene diamine tetra-acetate (EDTA) – a stabiliser
E387 – Oxysterarin – a stabiliser
E388 – Thiodipropionic acid