Declaring E numbers in the EU


I'm trying to find out if you have to put an E number on your label for ALL ingredients that may have an e number? Specifically Sulphur Dioxide, Potassium sorbate & Tartaric acid? Maybe you know of a document setting this legislation out? I can’t find anything definitive on the net. There are plenty of lists setting out all of the numbers but they don’t say what one has to declare on the label! I’m specifically interested in the EU legislation.

Thanks in advance!

Colin Lyall


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Adele Krogh - 3 years ago

See page 54, Part C specifically and Articles 2 f, 20 b in the EU labeling legislation mentioned below for requirements.

Bridget Day - 3 years ago

Here is another useful link for you, which we were directed to by The Chilled Food Association:

Bridget Day - 3 years ago

Always a pleasure to help where we can !

Colin Lyall - 3 years ago

Very helpful - thank you!

Bridget Day - 3 years ago

Hi Colin

According to the European Food Safety authority, in the European Union, all food additives are identified by an E number. Food additives are always included in the ingredient lists of foods in which they are used. Product labels must identify both the function of the additive in the finished food (e.g. colour, preservative) and the specific substance used either by referring to the appropriate E number or its name (e.g. E 415 or Xanthan gum).

Article 23 (1) a of REGULATION (EC) No 1333/2008 state for foods intended for sale to the consumer - the name and/or E-number laid down in this Regulation in respect of each food additive or a sales description which includes the name and/or E-number of each food additive;

You can confirm this information at:
and download the regulation at:

We hope this is helpful,
The Food Focus team