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Which E Numbers Are Vegan?

Last Updated on July 5, 2021

Some protein shakes, protein bars, and other packaged foodstuffs have lengthy ingredient lists. While It is often easy to spot the animal-derived ingredients, the e numbers can be confusing. Here is a complete listing to use as a guide so you can easily spot which e numbers are vegan.

What are E Numbers?

E numbers are a form of short-hand to identify food additives. They could be as innocent as E300 which is vitamin C, or as harmful as E621 which is MSG. So all e numbers are not created equal. Some are derived from animal products like E441 which is gelatin, while others are vegan like E460 which is plant fiber known as cellulose.

Keep in mind that just because an e number is vegan doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy. For example, E509 which is calcium chloride is a vegan salt naturally found in limestone, but it’s highly toxic. When taken in adequate amounts it can lead to burns in the mouth, and stomach ulceration. Yet it’s used as a firming agent in jams to no ill effect.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even so-called vegan e numbers are often tested on animals.

Key to Vegan Status

Here is the key used to let you know which e numbers are vegan, which could be from either animal or plant sources, and which are from animal sources.

 Vegan e numbers — of plant, mineral or synthetic origin.
? Possibly animal-derived e numbers — please ask the supplier to use a vegan version.
x E numbers that are not vegan — made from animal products or animal byproducts.

Which E Numbers Are Vegan?

Here is a complete listing of e numbers. The ingredients ticked with a checkmark are vegan. It helps to have a guide you can keep handy for when you’re shopping, so bookmark this page for those e number emergencies.

The e numbers have been divided into groupings; however, not all e numbers have been classified correctly, but it is interesting to get a general idea of the layout of the listings and understand why they are used in the product and be able to suggest suitable vegan alternatives to the supplier.

Food Colorings — Yellows

E100 is vegan — Curcumin. Natural color from the turmeric plant. Yellow food colorant used in curry powders, cheeses and mustard

E101 is vegan — Riboflavin — Vitamin B2. Visit the A-Z Guide to find out more .

E101a is vegan — Riboflavin-5-Phosphate. A orange-red food coloring used in sweets, jams and baby food.

E102 is vegan— Tartrazine (FD&C Yellow 5.) Synthetic yellow azo dye used in processed foods like cereals, sweets, soft drinks and pastries.

E103 is vegan — Alkannin. A natural red/brown dye sourced from borage plants grown in the south of France. It is violet in an alkaline substance and dark red in an oily product. used in wines, pastries, and sweets.

E104 is vegan — Quinoline Yellow WS. Greenish yellow food coloring. Mostly used in food coatings and sauces.

E105 is vegan — Fast Yellow AB. Toxic, linked to asthma. This food coloring has been banned in Europe and U.S.

E106 is vegan — Riboflavin-5-Sodium Phosphate. A more soluble version of Vitamin B2.

E107 is vegan — Yellow 2G – synthetic yellow Azon dye. It’s banned in the U.S.

Food Colourings — Oranges

E110 is vegan — Sunset Yellow FCF (Orange Yellow S, FD&C Yellow 6). Derived from petroleum. It is used to make sweets, preserved fruits and sauces yellow; and combined with E123 (Amaranth) to color caramel and chocolates browner.

E111 is vegan — Orange GGN (Alpha-napthol). Azon dye forbidden to be used as a food additive.

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Food Colourings — Reds

x E120 is not vegan — Carmine Dye (Crimson Lake, Natural Red 4). Derived from Cochineal beetles. The beetles produce the acid as a defense against predators. The beetles are boiled in a sodium carbonate or ammonia solution to extract the coloring.

E121 is vegan — Citrus Red 2. Artificial orange dye used to color the skin of oranges, but only where the skin will be thrown away as it is not safe to eat.

E122 is vegan — Carmoisine (Azorubine). An azo dye listed in the E.U. as a colorant in dried fruit, alcoholic drinks and cheeses.

E123 is vegan — Amaranth (FD&C Red2). A red azo dye made from petroleum byproducts. Banned in the U.S.

E124 is vegan — Ponceau 4R (Brilliant Scarlet 4R). Even though it is also known as Cochineal Red A, it is not of animal origin — it is a synthetic food dye. Used in cheese, preserved fruit, sauces, meats, desserts, soft drinks, and alcoholic drinks.

E125 is vegan — Ponceau SX, Scarlet GN. A red azo dye. Banned as a food additive in the U.S.

E126 is vegan — Ponceau 6R. A red azo dye. A very common food additive.

E127 is vegan — Erythrosine (FD&C Red3). A cherry-pink dye. It is an organic compound made from coal tar. Used in sweets, cake decorating gels and on pistachio shells.

E128 is vegan — Red 2G. A synthetic red azo dye. Banned in many countries.

E129 is vegan — Allura Red AC (FD&C Red 40). A synthetic sodium salt. Used in dairy products, sweets and soft drinks.

Food Colourings — Blues and Violets

E130 is vegan — Indanthrene Blue RS. And organic dye. Banned in the U.S.

E131 is vegan — Patent Blue V. A sky-blue synthetic dye. Used in jelly desserts.

E132 is vegan — Indigo carmine (Indigotine, FD&C Blue 2). A blue (pH 11.4) or yellow (pH 13.0) organic salt. Used to color capsules.

E133 is vegan — Brilliant Blue FCF (FD&C Blue 1). A synthetic, organic compound. Used in supplements. (Find out how supplements are made.) and processed foods.

Food Colourings — Greens

E140 is vegan— Chlorophylls and Chlorophyllins. A semi-synthetic water-soluble salt derived from cyanobacteria, algae and green plants. Used in spirits and pastas.

E141 is vegan — Created by adding Copper to Chlorophylls or Chlorophyllins. More stable than E140.

E142 is vegan — Green S. Synthetic coloring derived from coal tar. Used in sweets, mint sauce and canned peas. Banned in the U.S.

E143 is vegan — Fast Green FCF (FD&C Green 3). Seldom used, but found in mint jelly, canned peas, desserts, and sauces. Thought to be toxic. Banned in the E.U.

Food Colourings — Browns and Blacks

E150a is vegan — Plain Caramel. Made from melting sugar. Used widely in many foodstuffs like chocolate, alcoholic beverages, chips, gravy, soft drinks, etc.

E150b is vegan

E150c is vegan

E150d is vegan

E151 is vegan

E152 is vegan

? E153 might not be vegan — Carbon black, Vegetable carbon

E154 is vegan

E155 is vegan

Food Colourings — Gold and Others

E160a is vegan

E160b is vegan

E160c is vegan

E160d is vegan

E160e is vegan

E160f is vegan

E161a is vegan

E161b is vegan

E161c is vegan

E161d is vegan

E161e is vegan

E161f is vegan

? E161 g might not be vegan — Canthaxanthin

? E161h might not be vegan — Zeaxanthin

? E161i might not be vegan — Citranaxanthin

? E161j might not be vegan — Astaxanthin

E162 is vegan — natural red/purple coloring, sourced from beetroots. Most often used in tomato products, jelly, ice cream, sauces and jam.

E163 is vegan

E170 is vegan

E171 is vegan

E172 is vegan

E173 is vegan

E174 is vegan

E175 is vegan

E180 is vegan

E181 is vegan

Preservatives — Sorbates

E200 is vegan

E201 is vegan

E202 is vegan

E203 is vegan

Preservatives — Benzoates

E210 is vegan

E211 is vegan — Sodium benzoate is synthetically produced from benzoic acid which is sourced from plants, or bacteria in the fermentation process. It is present as citric acid in jams,  acetic acid in vinegar, and carbonic acid in soft drinks.

E212 is vegan

E213 is vegan

E214 is vegan

E215 is vegan

E216 is vegan

E217 is vegan

E218 is vegan

E219 is vegan

Preservatives — Sulfites

E220 is vegan

E221 is vegan

E222 is vegan

E223 is vegan

E224 is vegan

E225 is vegan

E226 is vegan

E227 is vegan

E228 is vegan

Preservatives — Phenols and Formates (Methanoates)

E230 is vegan

E231 is vegan

E232 is vegan

E233 is vegan

E234 is vegan

E235 is vegan

E236 is vegan

E237 is vegan

E238 is vegan

E239 is vegan

Preservatives — Nitrates

E240 is vegan

E242 is vegan

E249 is vegan

E250 is vegan

? E252 mght not be vegan — Potassium nitrate (Saltpetre)

E251 is vegan

Preservatives — Acetates (Ethanoates)

E260 is vegan

E261 is vegan

√ E262 is vegan

E263 is vegan

E264 is vegan

Preservatives — Lactates

E270 is vegan

Preservatives — Propionates (Propanoates)

E280 is vegan

E281 is vegan

E282 is vegan

E283 is vegan

E284 is vegan

E285 is vegan

Preservatives — Others

E290 is vegan

E296 is vegan

E297 is vegan

Antioxidants and Acidity Regulators — Ascorbates (Vitamin C)

E300 is vegan

E301 is vegan

E302 is vegan

E303 is vegan

E304 is vegan

Antioxidants and Acidity Regulators — Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

E306 is vegan

E307 is vegan

E309 is vegan

Antioxidants and Acidity Regulators — Gallates and Erythorbates

E310 is vegan

E311 is vegan

E312 is vegan

E315 is vegan

E316 is vegan

E317 is vegan

E318 is vegan

E319 is vegan

Antioxidants and Acidity Regulators — Lactates

E320 is vegan

E321 is vegan

? E322 might not be vegan — Lecithin

? E325 might not be vegan — Sodium lactate

? E326 might not be vegan — Potassium lactate

? E327 might not be vegan — Calcium lactate

E329 is vegan

Antioxidants and Acidity Regulators — Citrates and Tartrates

E330 is vegan

E331 is vegan

E332 is vegan

E333 is vegan

E334 is vegan

E335 is vegan

E336 is vegan

E337 is vegan

E338 is vegan

E339 is vegan

Antioxidants and Acidity Regulators — Phosphates

E340 is vegan

E341 is vegan

E343 is vegan

Antioxidants and Acidity Regulators — Malates and Adipates

E350 is vegan

E351 is vegan

E352 is vegan

E353 is vegan

E354 is vegan

E355 is vegan

E356 is vegan

E357 is vegan

Antioxidants and Acidity Regulators — Succinates and Fumarates

E363 is vegan

E365 is vegan

E366 is vegan

E367 is vegan

Antioxidants and Acidity Regulators — Others

E370 is vegan

E375 is vegan

E380 is vegan

E381 is vegan

E385 is vegan

Thickening Agents, Stabilizers and Emulsifiers — Alginates

E400 is vegan

E401 is vegan

E402 is vegan

E403 is vegan

E404 is vegan

E405 is vegan

E406 is vegan— Agar (Gelling Agent). Derived from boiling red algae. Used as a gelling agent in vegan soups, ice cream, cheeses and desserts. Buy Agar now.

E407 is vegan

E407a is vegan

E408 is vegan — Bakers yeast Glycan. A natural polysaccharide produced from dried yeast cell wall (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae) grown on seaweed (Furcellaria fastigata). Most often used in ice cream, cheese spreads, and salad dressings

Thickening Agents, Stabilizers and Emulsifiers — Natural Gums

E410 is vegan

E412 is vegan

E413 is vegan

E414 is vegan

E415 is vegan

E416 is vegan

E417 is vegan

E418 is vegan

Thickening Agents, Stabilizers and Emulsifiers — Other Natural Agents

E420 is vegan

E421 is vegan

? E422 might not be vegan — Glycerol

E425 is vegan

Thickening Agents, Stabilizers and Emulsifiers — Polyoxyethene Compounds

E430 is vegan

E431 is vegan

? E432 might not be vegan — Polyoxyethene (20) sorbitan monolaurate (polysorbate 20)

? E433 might not be vegan — Polyoxyethene (20) sorbitan monooleate (polysorbate 80)

? E434 might not be vegan — Polyoxyethene (20) sorbitan monopalmitate (polysorbate 40)

? E435 might not be vegan — Polyoxyethene (20) sorbitan monostearate (polysorbate 60)

? E436 might not be vegan — Polyoxyethene (20) sorbitan tristearate (polysorbate 65)

Thickening Agents, Stabilizers and Emulsifiers — Natural Emulsifiers

E440 is vegan

x E441 is not vegan — Gelatin

? E442 might not be vegan — Ammonium phosphatides

E444 is vegan

E445 is vegan

Thickening Agents, Stabilizers and Emulsifiers — Phosphates

E450 is vegan — Potassium and sodium di-phosphates. Produced synthetically from phosphoric acid and carbonates. Used in baking powder to leaven baked goods, in potato prouducts to keep white color, and in cured meats to retain moisture.

E451 is vegan

E452 is vegan

√ E459 is vegan

Thickening Agents, Stabilizers and Emulsifiers — Cellulose Compounds

E460 is vegan

E461 is vegan

E462 is vegan

E463 is vegan

E464 is vegan

E465 is vegan

E466 is vegan

E468 is vegan

E469 is vegan

Thickening Agents, Stabilizers and Emulsifiers — Fatty Acids and Compounds

? E470a might not be vegan — Sodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids

? E470b might not be vegan — Magnesium salts of fatty acids

? E471 might not be vegan — Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (glyceryl monostearate, glyceryl distearate)

? E472a might not be vegan — Acetic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

? E472b might not be vegan — Lactic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acid

? E472c might not be vegan — Citric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

? E472d might not be vegan — Tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

? E472e might not be vegan — Mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

? E472f might not be vegan — Mixed acetic and tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

? E473 might not be vegan — Sucrose esters of fatty acids

? E474 might not be vegan — Sucroglycerides

? E475 might not be vegan — Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids

? E476 might not be vegan — Polyglycerol polyricinoleate

? E477 might not be vegan — Propane-1, 2-diol esters of fatty acids, propylene glycol esters of fatty acids

? E478 might not be vegan — Lactylated fatty acid esters of glycerol and propane-1

? E479b might not be vegan — Thermally oxidized soya bean oil interacted with mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

? E481 might not be vegan — Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate

? E482 might not be vegan — Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate

? E483 might not be vegan — Stearyl tartrate

Thickening Agents, Stabilizers and Emulsifiers — Others

? E491 might not be vegan — Sorbitan monostearate

? E492 might not be vegan — Sorbitan tristearate

? E493 might not be vegan — Sorbitan monolaurate

? E494 might not be vegan — Sorbitan monooleate

? E495 might not be vegan — Sorbitan monopalmitate

pH Regulators and Anti-Caking Agents — Mineral Acids

E500 is vegan

E501 is vegan

E503 is vegan

E504 is vegan

E507 is vegan

E508 is vegan

E509 is vegan

pH Regulators and Anti-Caking Agents — Chlorides and Sulfates

E510 is vegan

E511 is vegan

E512 is vegan

E513 is vegan

E517 is vegan

E518 is vegan

E519 is vegan

pH Regulators and Anti-Caking Agents — Sulfates and Hydroxides

E520 is vegan

E521 is vegan

E522 is vegan

E523 is vegan

E524 is vegan

E525 is vegan

E526 is vegan

E528 is vegan

E529 is vegan

pH Regulators and Anti-Caking Agents — Alkali Metal Compounds

E530 is vegan

E535 is vegan

E536 is vegan

E538 is vegan

E540 is vegan

E541 is vegan

x E542 is not vegan — Edible Bone Phosphate (not aligned with its categorization)

E543 is vegan

E544 is vegan

E545 is vegan

pH Regulators and Anti-Caking Agents — Silicates

E550 is vegan

E551 is vegan

E552 is vegan

E553b is vegan

E554 is vegan

E555 is vegan

E556 is vegan

E558 is vegan

E559 is vegan

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pH Regulators and Anti-Caking Agents — Stearates and Gluconates

E570 is vegan

E572 is vegan

E574 is vegan

E575 is vegan

E576 is vegan

E577 is vegan

E578 is vegan

E579 is vegan

pH Regulators and Anti-Caking Agents — Others

? E585 might not be vegan — Ferrous lactate

Flavour Enhancers — Glutamates and Guanylates

E620 is vegan

E621 is vegan

E622 is vegan

E623 is vegan

E624 is vegan

E625 is vegan

E626 is vegan

? E627 might not be vegan — Disodium guanylate, sodium guanylate

E628 is vegan

E629 is vegan

Flavour Enhancers — Inosinates

E630 is vegan

? E631 might not be vegan — Disodium inosinate

E632 is vegan

E633 is vegan

E634 is vegan

? E635 might not be vegan — Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides

E636 is vegan

E637 is vegan

Flavour Enhancers — Others

? E640 might not be vegan — Glycine and its sodium salt

Antibiotics

E700 – E799 — vegan status of the ingredients varies, but all will have been tested on animals

Glazing Agents, Gases and Sweeteners — Waxes

E900 is vegan

x E901 is not vegan — Beeswax, white and yellow

E902 is vegan

E903 is vegan

x E904 is not vegan — Shellac – Resin from Lac Bug

E905 is vegan

E905a is vegan

E905b is vegan

E905c is vegan

E906 is vegan

E907 is vegan

E908 is vegan

Glazing Agents, Gases and Sweetners — Synthetic Glazes

x E910 is not vegan — L-cysteine

E912 is vegan

x E913 is not vegan — Lanolin, sheep wool grease

E914 is vegan

E915 is vegan

Glazing Agents, Gases and Sweetners — Improving Agents

x E920 is not vegan — L-cysteine

x E921 is not vegan — L-cysteine

E922 is vegan

E923 is vegan

E924 is vegan

E925 is vegan

E926 is vegan

E927 is vegan

E297b is vegan

E928 is vegan

Glazing Agents, Gases and Sweetners — Packaging Gases

E930 is vegan

E938 is vegan

E939 is vegan

E940 is vegan

E941 is vegan

E942 is vegan

E943a is vegan

E943b is vegan

E944 is vegan

E948 is vegan

E949 is vegan

Glazing Agents, Gases and Sweeteners — Sweeteners

E950 is vegan

E951 is vegan

E952 is vegan

E953 is vegan

E954 is vegan

E955 is vegan

E957 is vegan

E959 is vegan

E965 is vegan

x E966 is not vegan — Lactitol

E967 is vegan

Glazing Agents, Gases and Sweetners — Foaming Agents

E999 is vegan

Additional Chemicals

E1103 is vegan

E1105 is vegan

E1106 is vegan

E1107 is vegan

E1108 is vegan

E1109 is vegan

E1110 is vegan

E1111 is vegan

E1112 is vegan

E1113 is vegan

E1114 is vegan

E1115 is vegan

E1116 is vegan

E1117 is vegan

E1118 is vegan

E1119 is vegan

E1120 is vegan

E1121 is vegan

E1122 is vegan

E1123 is vegan

E1124 is vegan

E1125 is vegan

E1126 is vegan

E1127 is vegan

E1128 is vegan

E1129 is vegan

E1130 is vegan

E1131 is vegan

E1132 is vegan

E1133 is vegan

E1134 is vegan

E1135 is vegan

E1136 is vegan

E1137 is vegan

E1138 is vegan

E1139 is vegan

E1140 is vegan

E1141 is vegan

E1142 is vegan

E1143 is vegan

E1144 is vegan

E1145 is vegan

E1146 is vegan

E1147 is vegan

E1148 is vegan

E1149 is vegan

E1150 is vegan

E1151 is vegan

E1152 is vegan

E1153 is vegan

E1154 is vegan

E1155 is vegan

E1156 is vegan

E1157 is vegan

E1158 is vegan

E1159 is vegan

E1160 is vegan

E1161 is vegan

E1162 is vegan

E1163 is vegan

E1164 is vegan

E1165 is vegan

E1166 is vegan

E1167 is vegan

E1168 is vegan

E1169 is vegan

E1170 is vegan

E1171 is vegan

E1172 is vegan

E1173 is vegan

E1174 is vegan

E1175 is vegan

E1176 is vegan

E1177 is vegan

E1178 is vegan

E1179 is vegan

E1180 is vegan

E1181 is vegan

E1182 is vegan

E1183 is vegan

E1184 is vegan

E1185 is vegan

E1186 is vegan

E1187 is vegan

E1188 is vegan

E1189 is vegan

E1190 is vegan

E1191 is vegan

E1192 is vegan

E1193 is vegan

E1194 is vegan

E1195 is vegan

E1196 is vegan

E1197 is vegan

E1198 is vegan

E1199 is vegan

E1200 is vegan

E1201 is vegan

E1202 is vegan

E1400 is vegan

E1401 is vegan

E1402 is vegan

E1403 is vegan

E1404 is vegan

E1410 is vegan

E1412 is vegan

E1413 is vegan

E1414 is vegan

E1420 is vegan

E1421 is vegan

E1422 is vegan

E1430 is vegan

E1440 is vegan

E1441 is vegan

E1442 is vegan

E1450 is vegan

E1451 is vegan

E1505 is vegan

E1510 is vegan

E1518 is vegan

E1520 is vegan

Conclusion

As complicated as e numbers appear at first glance, it seems that most of them are vegan. This doesn’t mean they are healthy. It also doesn’t mean they aren’t tested on animals. If you want to be healthy and be sure of making cruelty-free choices then it’s better to choose a whole food, vegan diet with easy to understand lists of ingredients.

Take a look at the Ultimate A-Z Guide to Vegan Supplements to find out about important nutrients you may be missing from your diet.

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