What Are E Numbers?

E numbers are number codes for food additives that have been assessed for use within the European Union (the “E” prefix stands for “Europe”).They are commonly found on food labels throughout the European Union.  Safety assessment and approval are the responsibility of the European Food Safety Authority. The numbering scheme follows that of the International Numbering System (INS) as determined by the Codex Alimentarius committee though only a subset of the INS additives are approved for use in the European Union. E numbers are also encountered on food labelling in other jurisdictions, including the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. The “E” prefix is omitted in Australia and New Zealand. They are increasingly, though rarely, found on North American packaging, especially in Canada on imported European products.

In casual language in the UK and Ireland, “E number” is used as a pejorative term for artificial food additives, and products may promote themselves as “free of E numbers” even though most of the natural ingredients contain components that also have an E number such as vitamin C (E300) or lycopene (E160d). Because vitamin C has an E number (actually several E numbers, 300-305, for different chemical forms of the vitamin), it is impossible to live on a diet without any substances that have E numbers. “Free of E numbers” then simply means that pure forms of the substances are not intentionally added, even though identical substances certainly exist naturally in nearly all foods.

What Do E Numbers Do?

Additives may be natural, nature identical or artificial. Natural additives are substances found naturally in a foodstuff and are extracted from this food to be used in another, for example beetroot juice with its bright purple colour can be used to colour other foods such as sweets. Nature identical additives are man made copies of substances that occur naturally. For example, benzoic acid is a substance that is found in nature and is made synthetically and used as a preservative. Artificial additives are substances made synthetically and are not found naturally.

Additives are used for a variety of purposes including to keep food wholesome until it is eaten, make the food look or taste better, ensure that the food is convenient to store or use, keep the price of the food competitive, make the food healthier (higher in vitamins or lower in fat) and aid in processing and manufacture.


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Classification By Numeric Range

100–109 Yellows
110–119 Orange
120–129 Reds
130–139 Blues & violets
140–149 Greens
150–159 Browns & Blacks
160–199 Gold and Others
200–209 Sorbates
210–219 Benzoates
220–229 Sulphites
230–239 Phenols & Formates (methanoates)
240–259 Nitrates
260–269 Acetates (ethanoates)
270–279 Lactates
280–289 Propionates (propanoates)
290–299 Others
Antioxidants & acidity regulators
300–305 Ascorbates (vitamin C)
306–309 Tocopherol (vitamin E)
310–319 Gallates & Erythorbates
320–329 Lactates
330–339 Citrates & Tartrates
340–349 Phosphates
350–359 Malates & Adipates
360–369 Succinates & Fumarates
370–399 Others
Thickeners, stabilisers & emulsifiers
400–409 Alginates
410–419 Natural Gums
420–429 Other Natural Agents
430–439 Polyoxyethene Compounds
440–449 Natural Emulsifiers
450–459 Phosphates
460–469 Cellulose Compounds
470–489 Fatty Acids & Compounds
490–499 Others
pH regulators & anti-caking agents
500–509 Mineral Acids & Bases
510–519 Chlorides & Sulphates
520–529 Sulphates & Hydroxides
530–549 Alkali Metal Compounds
550–559 Silicates
570–579 Stearates & Gluconates
580–599 Others
Flavour enhancers
620–629 Glutamates
630–639 Inosinates
640–649 Others
900–909 Waxes
910–919 Synthetic Glazes
920–929 Improving Agents
930–949 Packaging Gases
950–969 Sweeteners
990–999 Foaming Agents
Additional chemicals
New chemicals that do not fall into standard classification schemes

Using Sodium Bentonite To Seal Your Ponds

What Is Sodium Bentonite And How Does It Work?

Sodium bentonite products are used to seal large ponds, such as man-made fish ponds. The sodium bentonite clay properties are what make the material work so well as a sealant. Sodium bentonite swells to as much as eighteen times its normal size when wet. As it swells, it fills in the holes of a porous material, thus creating a watertight seal.

Sodium bentonite is so effective for this purpose that it has a wide range of uses. Not only do you find people sealing ponds with sodium bentonite clay, but you will also see bentonite clay use for construction waterproofing. Landfills, sewer drains, and similar installations are sealed using bentonite products.

How Does Bentonite Work?

Sodium bentonite is used as a sealant when ponds are leaking. The application can be done through “blanketing” the soil beneath the pond with the product. This has to be done before the pond is filled. The sodium bentonite prevents water loss as the pond ages (and a normal liner can be placed above it.) When applied to a sufficient depth, however, the bentonite itself acts as a sufficiently strong seal to stop leakage through to the soil.

If you have an existing pond that is leaking, you can use the blanket method, provided you drain the pond first. If you cannot drain the pond, the sprinkle method is your best option. Simply sprinkle granular bentonite on the water’s surface. The particles will sink to the bottom where they will saturate the porous places.

Pros and Cons of Sodium Bentonite Clay

Sodium bentonite clay has a number of attract properties as a sealant:

  • Its ability to swell and block moisture allows it to seep into the soil at the base of a pond in construction or to patch a pond that is leaking.
  • When applied at a thickness of up to 4″, sodium bentonite produces a seal that will withstand use by animals.
  • Sodium bentonite is much more affordable than sealing options. (It does, however, have to be applied by a professional.)

One downside to using sodium bentonite clay is that for proper installation, the pond must be drained. If you have fish, this is easier said than done. While you can use the sprinkle method and not drain the pond, this type of application is not fool proof. There is a chance that the clay particles will not reach all of the places in the soil that may be allowing leaks through.

If you want a good pond seal with sodium bentonite, you will need to have a professional apply the materials for the best results. This method is, however, the best way of sealing ponds, when you can afford to do it. Sealing ponds with sodium bentonite clay will create a watertight seal that stands up to years of use.

Where to Buy Sodium Bentonite online UK

How To Change The Colour Of A Hydrangea Plant With Aluminum Sulphate

Hydrangeas are fascinating in that, unlike most other plants, the color of their flowers can change dramatically.

It would be nice if one could change the color of hydrangeas easily. But for most of us, it is not easy. The people who have the most control over the color of their hydrangeas are those who grow them in containers. It is much easier to control or alter the pH of the soil in a container than it is in the ground.

On the other hand, hydrangeas often change color on their own when they are planted or transplanted. They are adjusting to the new environment. It is not unusual to see several different colors on one shrub the next year after planting.

It is much easier to change a hydrangea from pink to blue than it is from blue to pink. Changing a hydrangea from pink to blue entails adding aluminum to the soil.

Changing from blue to pink means subtracting aluminum from the soil or taking it out of reach of the hydrangea. This can be achieved by first treating the soil with a phosphorous based fertilizer followed by a treatment of lime or calcium. the pH should be raised to 6.0 to 6.5 but never higher than this.

That said, I’ll give the best information that I have on this subject and let you take it from there.

In order to change the flowers of the hydrangea from pink to blue there needs to be aluminium present in the soil and a pH of less than 7 ideally between 5.2 and 5.5 (Acidic). Only plants older than 2 years which are established should be treated. Before commencing treatment to change colour it is strongly advisable to water plants thoroughly every day for a week. Where possible test soil around hydrangeas for pH.

Add 15g (1 tablespoon) of aluminium sulphate in a litre of warm water and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes to dissolve. Add this to a watering can and make up to 5 litres with cold water. Apply the solution around the based of the hydrangea. DO NOT OVERUSE as making the soil too acidic can result in damage to the roots. Check the pH and maintain it between 5.2 and 5.5. Other simple things you can do include adding as grass clippings, coffee grounds and fruit or vegetable peelings to help lower pH levels. Potassium rich fertilizers will also help to achiev this.

Where to Buy Aluminum Sulphate online UK

Why Should You Use An Organic Weed Killer?

Why should you use an organic weed killer instead of a chemical alternative? There are many reasons! Firstly you are doing your part for the environment by not pumping the air and soil full of harmful chemicals.

Secondly using a more natural weed killer will be kinder to wildlife and household pets using your garden. Dogs and cats can be seriously injured or even killed by common weed killers used heavily in gardens.

reVert Organic weed killer is a non selective weed killer based entirely on natural and completely biodegradable ingredients including vinegar and sugar developed for the control of broad leaf and grass weeds. It is highly effective against dandelions, ragweed, daisy, foxtail, moss & algae, chickweed, liverwort, bindweed, clover etc.

It is ideal for weed killing on paths, patios and driveways and for spot treatment of weeds on lawns. Supplied as a ready to use product it eliminates any concerns about diluting.
Simply spray directly onto weeds, ensuring that the leaves are well wetted and leave to work.
The best and fastest results will be achieved if weeds are treated on a warm sunny day. Avoid spraying if weather is wet as this can cause the weed killer to spread into other parts of the garden.

It replaces the need for TOXIC herbicides and the effects are faster than commercially available weed killers. It does not create any health concerns for the operator and is safe to use around children and pets. Within a few hours the pH of soil returns to normal allow replanting in the treated area. When weeds are treated they will start to die almost immediately as the leaves become dehydrated and start to wilt, burning from the leaves right down to the roots and within 6 hours the leaves will turn black and the results are clearly visible.

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