Definition of E-number in English:



  • 1British A code number preceded by the letter E, denoting food additives numbered in accordance with EU directives.

    • ‘Once an additive has been approved as safe across the European Union, it is assigned an E-number.’
    • ‘The magazine concludes that additives are essential to provide safe, convenient food all year round but questions the need for E-number ingredients to make food more colourful.’
    • ‘Food campaigners have accused companies of deliberately misleading consumers, many of whom need to check labels for health reasons, by listing a mixture of additive names and E-numbers.’
    1. 1.1informal A food additive.
      • ‘The crisps are hand-fried using the finest flavourings - we don't use E-numbers or artificial flavourings.’
      • ‘Today I have eaten at least a pound of pure E-numbers.’
      • ‘There is nothing the six-year-old likes more now than to strut around the living room, cranked up on E-numbers after eating too many bags.’
      • ‘The E-numbers just temporarily addled my brain..’
      • ‘I don't know what ingredients they put in those suspiciously yellow, polystyrene-like slithers of E-numbers (well, there's certainly no potato in them, I'll bet), but they make tube travel almost unbearable.’
      added ingredient, addition, extra, add-on, supplement, accompaniment