Food additives are substances added to foods to perform a particular function, such as enhancing the colour, appearance, flavour or texture, improving the nutritional composition, or extending the shelf life through preservation of the product.
All additives are thoroughly assessed for safety before being approved. Once approved, each additive is given an E number that is listed on the product label, along with other ingredients.
There are three main groups of additives:
All E numbers are categorised depending on their function in a food product. These include: