E Numbers Demystified

Is there anything more confusing than figuring out the effect E numbers in food could have on our kids?

After all, with so many scare stories about unnecessary and dangerous additives in kids’ food you’d be excused for thinking every single E number is bad when, in fact, some ingredients are simply given an E to help
classify them.

Take E162 for instance -  beetroot juice to you and me. Or E300…. vitamin C.

But take a look at this lot and you’ll want to always check the label of the food you buy. Top of the "must avoid" list is this rogues gallery:

  • E142 – green S. It’s been linked to cases of the allergic reaction,
    urticaria. It’s found in desserts, ice cream, mint sauce, sweets,
    tinned peas and gravy granules and is already banned in many countries.
  • E132 – indigo carmine. This colouring has been linked to increased skin
    sensitivity. It’s used in products such as sweets, biscuits, ice cream
    and baked products.
  • E213 – calcium benzoate. This preservative is linked to allergic
    reactions, particularly in people who already suffer from asthma.
  • E220 – sulphur dioxide. This preservative is found in cordials, wine,
    soft drinks, dried fruit and vinegar and has been associated with
    provoking asthma attacks.

How do I know this? All thanks to a great site called Explore E Numbers, that’s how. The site is packed full of relevant info on E numbers and the editors update it regularly with the latest research.

- Matthew

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