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Isnin, 6 September 2010


E-Numbers represent specific food additives, used by the food industry in the manufacture of various food products. These E-Numbers have been formulated by the European Economic Community (EEC) and are universally adopted by the food industry worldwide.

It is known that many E-numbers contain unlisted haraam ingredients in them. Generally additives derived from animals and insects.

E-numbers are reference numbers used by the European Union to facilitate identification of food additives. All food additives used in the European Union are identified by an E-number. The "E" stands for "Europe" or "European Union". Normally each food additive is assigned a unique number, though occasionally, related additives are given an extension ("a", "b", or "i", "ii") to another E-number.

The Commission of the European Union assigns e-numbers after the additive is cleared by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF), the body responsible for the safety evaluation of food additives in the European Union. The convention for assigning E-numbers is:

100-199 food colors
200-299 preservatives
300-399 antioxidants, phosphates, and complexing agents
400-499 thickeners, gelling agents, phosphates, humectants, emulsifiers
500-599 salts and related compounds
600-699 flavor enhancers
700-899 not used for food additives (used for feed additives)
900-999 surface coating agents, gases, sweeteners
1000-1399 miscellaneous additive
1400-1499 starch derivatives

Additives which are ALWAYS of animal origin, such as (HARAAM):

E120 Cochineal : a red colour obtained from female insects

E441 Gelatine : derived from the bones and/ or hides of cattle and/ or pigs

E542 Edible Bone Phosphate : an extract from animal bones

E904 Shellac : a resin from the lac insect

Whilst some additives with a common code such as E47, can be either of animal or plant origin and this latter type needs to be investigated on a case-by-case basis per product/ manufacturer.
The main additives you need to be aware of are:

Glycerol / Glycerin / Glycerine (E422) - haraam if obtained from pork or non-halal meat sources.
Emulsifiers (E470 to E483) - haraam if obtained from pork or non-halal sources.
Edible Bone Phosphate (E542) - haraam if obtained from pork or non-halal meat sources.


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