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Food Additives, Preservatives and Additive Number

Food additives play an important role in maintaining the quality of foods. The Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) closely monitors the types and amounts of additives in food. An Accredited Practising Dietitian can provide dietary advice for those people who may be allergic or intolerant to certain foods.

Food additives include preservatives, flavourings and colourings. Other additives are also used in processing to help improve the taste, texture and appearance of foods. Some food additives are important in keeping our food supply safe to eat by preventing spoilage, others enhance flavour, appearance or preparation of foods. The ANZFA carefully regulate the types and amounts that can be included in the food supply. For most people, foods containing additives are perfectly safe and there is no need to be concerned about eating them as part of a healthy, varied diet. However, some people may be intolerant or allergic to certain food additives and will therefore need to be careful about eating these. For further information see Allergy and Food Intolerance and Sensitivities.

In Australia, food additives are numbered using an approved numbering system. These numbers are used in the ingredient lists on food labels to help people identify which additives have been used in different food products. If an allergy or intolerance to certain food additives is suspected, it is important that you see an Accredited Practising Dietitian for more information on food additives and expert advice before changing your diet. Eliminating certain foods from your diet without such professional advice may mean you miss out on important nutrients.

This information was obtained from the Dietitians Association of Australia.

List of Food Additives and Their Additive Number

If you are a mum who tries to read the nutritional lable before giving the food to youself or your child. I sometimes feel that I am eating a bunch of numbers. What do they mean? Well here is a list. Most of them are not that bad. Print it out and keep it on your fridge so you can always check the label before you eat it.

Here is a list of food additives, preservatives and their additive number. Look forward to a page discussing of the effect of these additives on childrens health and behavour.

Press Ctrl and F at the same time and enter the additive number to find, or download the PDF version to print.

Perservative List PDF


Food Additives- Numerical List (Updated September 2002) Symbols used in this list: á = alpha; â = beta; ä = delta; ã = gamma.

Food Additive Prescribed Name--------------------------------------------Code No

Curcumin or Turmeric (colour) 100
Riboflavin or Riboflavin 5’-phosphate sodium(colour) 101
Tartrazine (colour) 102
Alkanet or Alkannin (colour) 103
Quinoline yellow (colour) 104
Sunset yellow FCF (colour) 110
Carmines or Carminic acid or Cochineal (colour) 120
Azorubine or Carmoisine (colour) 122
Amaranth (colour) 123
Ponceau 4R (colour) 124
Erythrosine (colour) 127
Allura red AC (colour) 129
Indigotine (colour) 132
Brilliant blue FCF (colour) 133
Chlorophyll (colour) 140
Chlorophyll-copper complex (colour) 141
Green S (colour) 142
Fast green FCF (colour) 143
Caramel I (colour) 150a
Caramel II (colour) 150b
Caramel III (colour) 150c
Caramel IV (colour) 150d
Brilliant black BN or Brilliant black PN (colour) 151
Carbon black or vegetable carbon (colour) 153
Brown HT (colour) 155
Carotene (colour) ) 160a
Annatto extracts (colour) 160b
Paprika oleoresins (colour) 160c
Lycopene (colour) 160d
-apo-8. Carotenal (colour) 160e
-apo-8. Carotenoic acid or methyl ethyl ester (colour) 160f
Flavoxanthin (colour) 161a
Lutein (colour) 161b
Kryptoxanthin (colour) 161c
Rubixanthin (colour) 161d
Violoxanthin (colour) 161e
Rhodoxanthin (colour) 161f
Beet red (colour) 162
Anthocyanins or Grape skin extract or Blackcurrant extract (colour) 163
Saffron or Crocetin or Crocin (colour) 164
Calcium carbonate (colour, anti-caking agent) 170
Titanium dioxide (colour) 171
Iron oxide (colour) 172
Aluminium (colour) 173
Silver (colour) 174
Gold (colour) 175
Tannic acid or tannins (colour, emulsifier, stabiliser, thickener) 181
Sorbic acid (preservative) 200
Sodium sorbate (preservative) 201
Potassium sorbate (preservative) 202
Calcium sorbate (preservative) 203
Benzoic acid (preservative) 210
Sodium benzoate (preservative) 211
Potassium benzoate (preservative) 212
Calcium benzoate (preservative) 213
Propylparaben or Propyl-p-hydroxy-benzoate (preservative) 216
Methylparaben or Methyl-p-hydroxy-benzoate (preservative) 218
Sulphur dioxide (preservative) 220
Sodium sulphite (preservative) 221
Sodium bisulphite (preservative) 222
Sodium metabisulphite (preservative) 223
Potassium metabisulphite (preservative) 224
Potassium sulphite (preservative) 225
Potassium bisulphite (preservative) 228
Nisin (preservative) 234
Natamycin or Pimaricin (preservative) 235
Dimethyl dicarbonate (preservative) 242
Potassium nitrite (preservative, colour fixative) 249
Sodium nitrite (preservative, colour fixative) 250
Sodium nitrate (preservative, colour fixative) 251
Potassium nitrate (preservative, colour fixative) 252
Acetic acid, glacial (acidity regulator) 260
Potassium acetate or Potassium diacetate (acidity regulator) 261
Sodium acetates (acidity regulator) 262
Calcium acetate (acidity regulator) 263
Ammonium acetate (acidity regulator) 264
Lactic acid (acidity regulator) 270
Propionic acid (preservative) 280
Sodium propionate (preservative) 281
Calcium propionate (preservative) 282
Potassium propionate (preservative) 283
Carbon dioxide (propellant) 290
Malic acid (acidity regulator) 296
Fumaric acid (acidity regulator) 297
Ascorbic acid (antioxidant) 300
Sodium ascorbate (antioxidant) 301
Calcium ascorbate (antioxidant) 302
Potassium ascorbate (antioxidant) 303
Ascorbyl palmitate (antioxidant) 304
Tocopherols concentrate, mixed (antioxidant) 306
a-Tocopherol (antioxidant) 307
-Tocopherol (antioxidant) 308
-Tocopherol (antioxidant) 309
Propyl gallate (antioxidant) 310
Octyl gallate (antioxidant) 311
Dodecyl gallate (antioxidant) 312
Erythorbic acid (antioxidant) 315
Sodium erythorbate (antioxidant) 316
tert-Butylhydroquinone (antioxidant) 319
Butylated hydroxyanisole (antioxidant) 320
Butylated hydroxytoluene (antioxidant) 321
Lecithin (antioxidant, emulsifier) 322
Sodium lactate (acidity regulator, humectant, bulking agent) 325
Potassium lactate (acidity regulator, humectant, bulking agent) 326
Calcium lactate (acidity regulator) 327
Ammonium lactate (acidity regulator) 328
Magnesium lactate (acidity regulator) 329
Citric acid (acidity regulator, antioxidant) 330
Sodium citrates (acidity regulator, emulsifier, stabiliser) 331
Potassium citrates (acidity regulator, stabiliser) 332
Calcium citrates (acidity regulator, stabiliser) 333
Tartaric acid (acidity regulator, antioxidant) 334
Sodium tartrates (acidity regulator) 335
Potassium tartrate or Potassium acid tartrate (acidity regulator, stabiliser) 336
Potassium sodium tartrate (acidity regulator, stabiliser) 337
Phosphoric acid (acidity regulator) 338
Sodium phosphates (acidity regulator, emulsifier, stabiliser) 339
Potassium phosphates (acidity regulator, emulsifier, stabiliser) 340
Calcium phosphates (acidity regulator, emulsifier, stabiliser, anti-caking agent) 341
Ammonium phosphates (acidity regulator) 342
Magnesium phosphates (acidity regulator, anticaking agent) 343
Ammonium malate (acidity regulator) 349
Sodium malates (acidity regulator, humectant) 350
Potassium malates (acidity regulator) 351
Calcium malates (acidity regulator) 352
Metatartaric acid (acidity regulator) 353
Calcium tartrate (acidity regulator) 354
Adipic acid (acidity regulator) 355
Potassium adipate (acidity regulator) 357
Ammonium adipates (acidity regulator) 359
Succinic acid (acidity regulator) 363
Sodium fumarate (acidity regulator) 365
Potassium fumarate (acidity regulator) 366
Calcium fumarate (acidity regulator) 367
Ammonium fumarate (acidity regulator) 368
Ammonium citrate or triammonium citrate (acidity regulator) 380
Ferric ammonium citrate (acidity regulator, anticaking agent) 381
Calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate or calcium disodium EDTA (preservative, antioxidant) 385
Alginic acid (thickener, stabiliser) 400
Sodium alginate (thickener, stabiliser, gelling agent) 401
Potassium alginate (thickener, stabiliser) 402
Ammonium alginate (thickener, stabiliser) 403
Calcium alginate (thickener, stabiliser, gelling agent) 404
Propylene glycol alginate (thickener, emulsifier) 405
Agar (thickener, gelling agent, stabiliser) 406
Carrageenan (thickener, gelling agent, stabiliser) 407
Processed eucheuma seaweed (thickener, gelling agent, stabiliser) 407a
Arabinogalactan or Larch gum (thickener, gelling agent, stabiliser) 409
Locust bean gum or Carob bean gum (thickener, stabiliser) 410
Guar gum (thickener, stabiliser) 412
Tragacanth gum (thickener, stabiliser) 413
Acacia or gum Arabic (thickener, stabiliser) 414
Xanthan gum (thickener, stabiliser) 415
Karaya gum (thickener, stabiliser) 416
Gellan gum (thickener, stabiliser, gelling agent) 418
Sorbitol or sorbitol syrup (sweetener, humectant, emulsifier) 420
Sorbitan tristearate (emulsifier) 492
Sodium carbonate or Sodium bicarbonate (acidity regulator, raising agent, anti-caking agent) 500
Potassium carbonates (acidity regulator, stabiliser) 501
Ammonium bicarbonate or Ammonium hydrogen carbonate (acidity regulator, raising agent) 503
Magnesium carbonate (acidity regulator, anticaking agent) 504
Hydrochloric acid (acidity regulator) 507
Potassium chloride (gelling agent) 508
Calcium chloride (firming agent) 509
Ammonium chloride (bulking agent) 510
Magnesium chloride (firming agent) 511
Stannous chloride (antioxidant) 512
Sodium sulphate (acidity regulator) 514
Potassium sulphate (acidity regulator) 515
Calcium sulphate (firming agent) 516
Magnesium sulphate (firming agent) 518
Cupric sulphate (mineral salt) 519
Calcium hydroxide (acidity regulator, firming agent) 526
Calcium oxide (acidity regulator) 529
Magnesium oxide (anti-caking agent) 530
Sodium ferrocyanide (anti-caking agent) 535
Potassium ferrocyanide (anti-caking agent) 536
Sodium aluminium phosphate (acidity regulator, emulsifier) 541
Bone phosphate (anti-caking agent, emulsifier) 542
Silicon dioxide, amorphous (anti-caking agent) 551
Calcium silicate (anti-caking agent) 552
Magnesium silicate or Talc (anti-caking agent) 553
Sodium aluminosilicate (anti-caking agent) 554
Potassium aluminium silicate) 555
Calcium aluminium silicate (anti-caking agent) 556
Bentonite (anti-caking agent) 558
Aluminium silicate 559
Potassium silicate (anti-caking agent) 560
Stearic acid or fatty acid (glazing agent, foaming agent) 570
Glucono _-lactone or Glucono delta-lactone (acidity regulator, raising agent) 575
Potassium gluconate (sequestrant) 577
Calcium gluconate (acidity regulator, firming agent) 578
Ferrous gluconate (colour retention agent) 579
Magnesium gluconate (acidity regulatory, firming agent) 580
4-Hexylresorcinol (antioxidant) 586
L-Glutamic acid (flavour enhancer) 620
Monosodium L-glutamate or MSG (flavour enhancer) 621
Monopotassium L-glutamate (flavour enhancer) 622
Calcium glutamate (flavour enhancer) 623
Monoammonium L-glutamate (flavour enhancer) 624
Magnesium glutamate 625
Disodium 5‘-guanylate (flavour enhancer) 627
Disodium 5‘-inosinate (flavour enhancer) 631
Disodium 5'-ribonucleotides (flavour enhancer) 635
Maltol (flavour enhancer) 636
Ethyl maltol (flavour enhancer) 637
Glycine (flavour enhancer) 640
L-Leucine (flavour enhancer) 641
Polydimethylsiloxane or Dimethylpolysiloxane (anti caking agent, emulsifier) 900a
Beeswax, white and yellow (glazing agent) 901
Shellac (glazing agent) 904
Petrolatum or petroleum jelly (glazing agent) 905b
Oxidised polyethylene (humectant) 914
L-Cysteine monohydrochloride (raising agent) 920
Nitrogen (propellant) 941
Nitrous oxide (propellant) 942
Butane (propellant) 943a
Isobutane (propellant) 943b
Propane (propellant) 944
Octafluorocyclobutane (propellant) 946
Acesulphame potassium (sweetener) 950
Aspartame (sweetener) 951
Calcium cyclamate or sodium cyclamate or cyclamate (sweetener) 952
Isomalt (humectant, sweetener, bulking agent, anti caking agent) 953
Saccharin or calcium saccharin or sodium saccharine or potassium saccharine (sweetener) 954
Sucralose (sweetener) 955
Alitame (sweetener) 956
Thaumatin (flavour enhancer, sweetener) 957
Neotame (sweetener) 961
Propane (propellant) 944
Propane (propellant) 944
Propane (propellant) 944
Propane (propellant) 944
Propane (propellant) 944
Propane (propellant) 944
Propane (propellant) 944



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