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E-numbers

In this Fact Sheet: Non-Vegetarian and Non-Vegan, Derived from both plant and animal sources, Animal-derived carriers.


E-numbers are additives. The ‘E’ stands for European and means that these additives have been tested for safety and been assessed for use in the European Union (EU). Each E-number is assigned its own unique number making it easier for manufacturers to list which are included in foods.   The numbering system also helps keep track as they are grouped into various categories, for example, Colourings (100-118); Antioxidants (300-340); Flavour Enhancers (600-650); Glazing Agents (900-910).  

Non-vegetarian and non-vegan

There are several E-numbers which are never suitable for vegetarians, these include:       

E120 - Cochineal/Carmine, this red colouring is isolated from crushed insects; Coccus cacti.       

E542 - Edible Bone Phosphate, from animal bones.

E-numbers which are unsuitable for a vegan diet include:   

E901 – Bees wax, made by bees but does not contain insects        

E904 – Shellac, natural polymer derived from lac beetles 

E913 – Lanolin, a wax from sheep excreted by the skin of sheep and extracted from the wool    

E966 – Lactitol, made from milk sugar      

E1105 – Lysozyme, from chicken eggs

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The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom Limited, Parkdale, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4QG
Registered Charity No. 259358, Registered Company No. 959115 (England and Wales)

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Privacy | | Contact | Press | Advertising | Jobs

The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom Limited, Parkdale, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4QG
Registered Charity No. 259358, Registered Company No. 959115 (England and Wales)