What is the meaning of “E” coding which we often see in different packages?

A series of natural or chemical additives is added to the majority of foods. These additives are used to improve the food's taste, colour or texture and also to keep it from spoiling. These additives are indicated by their approved name or by "E" followed by a number. “E” indicates that this is an approved additive according to EU legislation.


100 to 199 refer to colorants.

200 to 299 refer to preservatives.

300 to 399 refer to anti-oxidants.

400 to 499 refer to stabilizers.

500 to 599 refer to acidity regulators.

600 to 650 refer to flavor enhancers.

900 to 999 refer to processing aids and gasses.

1100 to 1520 refer to enzymes, modified starches and technological function aids.

Many additives are already known due to their use in cooking. Among them, E500 refers to sodium bicarbonate, better known as soda or baking powder; E300 refers to citric acid; E100 refers to curcumin commonly known as turmeric; E160 is a paprika extract, while E220 and E223 are sulphur dioxides used in keeping wine from turning sour.