Ecomil informs you: Food additives


E213, E301, E404 … Food additives have invaded the composition of most of the products found at the supermarket and hide under names sometimes very difficult to decode. Ecomil helps you to understand the meaning of these food colourants, preservatives or food flavour enhancers that, for some of them, have health consequences considered harmful.

Food additives can be found in the list of ingredients under a code composed by the letter E (for Europe) followed by several numbers that classify them into specific categories:additifs alimentaires

  • ‘E’ followed by the digit 1: food colourant
  • ‘E’ followed by the digit 2: conservative
  • ‘E’ followed by the digit 3: antioxidant
  • ‘E’ followed by the digit 4: thickener or stabilizer
  • ‘E’ followed by the digit 5: corrector or regulator
  • ‘E’ followed by the digit 6: flavor enhancer
  • ‘E’ followed by the digit 9: sweetener or propellant gas

Some additives come from plant and are totally harmless to the body, such as E162 (red colourant derived from beets). But other additives in our food have been identified as potentially dangerous:

  • E104, 131, 142, 210-219, 239, 320, 952 are suspected to be carcinogens
  • E101, 173, 339-341, 520-523, 554-559, 1412, 1414 are deemed toxic to the gastric system and kidneys
  • E102, 110, 122, 124, 127, 129, 142, 210-213, 221, 228 are suspected to cause allergies

To quickly and easily decipher these additives, there are now several smartphone applications that list all additives and indicate their level of dangerousness: “Food additives” is notably available on Android and Iphone.

The range “Sugar Free” of Ecomil offers milks and vegetable drinks with no sugar, no added sugars or artificial sweetener for more natural in your glass.

An article inspired by C. GOUGET: “Danger additifs alimentaires”