Emulsifiers approved for use in food by the European Commission

Food additives permitted in the EU: emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents

Below is a review of some of emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents, such as lecithins, alginates or plant gums, present in the list of food additives approved in the European Community on the basis of the European Commission regulation No 1129/2011 published on 11 November 2011. Such list is an amendment of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008 of the European Parliament, that was then modified in 2013. The list in its entirety is available, in HTML or PDF format and in the different European languages, by following the link in the References.

E322, E400, E401, E402, E403, E404, E405, E406, E407, E407a, E410, E412, E413, E414, E415, E416, E417, E418, E425, E432, E433, E434, E435, E436, E440, E442, E444, E445, E460, E461, E463, E464, E465, E466, E468, E469, E470a, E470b, E471, E472a, E472b, E472c, E472d, E472e, E472f, E473, E474, E475, E476, E477, E479b, E481, E482, E483, E491, E492, E493, E494, E495, E1103 
E322     Lecithins
E400     Alginic acid
E401     Sodium alginate
E402     Potassium alginate
E403     Ammonium alginate
E404     Calcium alginate
E405     Propane-1,2-diol alginate
Plant gums (soluble fibre)
E406     Agar
E407     Carrageenan
E407a   Processed eucheuma seaweed
E410     Locust bean gum
E412     Guar gum
E413     Tragacanth
E414     Gum arabic (acacia gum)
E415     Xanthan gum
E416     Karaya gum
E417     Tara gum
E418     Gellangum
E425     Konjac
E432     Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate: Polysorbate 20
E433     Polyoxyethylene sorbitan mono-oleate: Polysorbate 80
E434     Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monopalmitate; Polysorbate 40
E435     Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate: Polysorbate 60
E436     Polyoxyethylene sorbitan tristearate; Polysorbate 65
Cellulose derivatives
E460     Cellulose
E461     Methyl cellulose
E463     Hydroxypropyl cellulose
E464     Hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose
E465     Ethyl methyl cellulose
E466     Carboxy methyl cellulose, Sodium carboxy methyl cellulose, cellulose gum
E468     Cross-linked sodium carboxy methyl cellulose, cross linked cellulose gum
E469     Enzymatically hydrolysed carboxy methyl cellulose, Enzymatically hydrolysed cellulose gum
Fatty acid derivatives and modified fats
E470a   Sodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids
E470b   Magnesium salts of fatty acids
E471     Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472a   Acetic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472b   Lactic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472c    Citric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472d   Tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472e   Mono- and diacetyltartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472f    Mixed acetic and tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E473     Sucrose esters of fatty acids
E474     Sucroglycerides
E475     Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids
E476     Polyglycerol polyricinoleate
E477     Propane-1,2-diol esters of fatty acids
E479b   Thermally oxidised soya bean oil interacted with mono and diglycerides of fatty acids
E481     Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate
E482     Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate
E483     Stearyl tartrate
E491     Sorbitan monostearate
E492     Sorbitan tristearate
E493     Sorbitan monolaurate
E494     Sorbitan monooleate
E495     Sorbitan monopalmitate
Other compounds
E440     Pectins
E442     Ammonium phosphatides
E444     Sucrose acetate isobutyrate
E445     Glycerol esters of wood rosins
E1103   Invertase


  1. Bender D.A. “Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology” 8th ed. Woodhead Publishing. Oxford, 2006
  2. Commission Regulation (EU) No 1129/2011 of 11 November 2011 amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council by establishing a Union list of food additives. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg/2011/1129/2013-11-21

Biochemistry, metabolism, and nutrition