PRESERVATIVES

(200-290)
The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease -- Voltaire
Number Name Comments
200
E200
Sorbic acid Occurs naturally in fruit, used as a preservative it inhibits fungal growth but allows for bacterial activity, hence is useful for cheese. Obtained from the berries of mountain ash or synthesised from ketene; possible skin irritant, and may cause rashes, asthma and hyperactivity.. Sorbic acid is used in conjunction with sulphur dioxide in wine making, without SO2 bacteria cause reduction of sorbic acid to sorbyl alcohol which converts to a foul smelling ether. Also used as a preservative in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Sorbic acid had a conjugated system of double bonds which makes it susceptible to nucleophilic attack, sometimes giving mutagenic products. Food labelled as containing E200 may actually contain sodium, potassium or calcium sorbate instead (E201, E202 and E203 respectively). Typical products include wine, cheese, other fermented products, desert sauces and fillings, soups, sweets, drinks, yeast goods.
201
E201
Sodium sorbate Similar to 200. Sodium sorbate is the sodium salt of sorbic acid.  Typical products include wine, cheese, other fermented products, desert sauces and fillings, soups, sweets.
202
E202
Potassium sorbate Similar to 200. otassium sorbate is the sodium salt of sorbic acid. More soluble than sorbic acid. Typical products include cheese, butter, yogurt, preserves, pickles, dried fruit, cakes and wine.
203
E203
Calcium sorbate Similar to 200. The calcium salt of sorbic acid. An antifungal antibacterial preservative. Typical products include fermented dairy produce, wine.
210
E210
Benzoic acid Also known as flowers of benzoin, phenlycarboxylic acid, carboxybenzene. Obtained from Benzoin, a resin exuded by trees native to Asia. Benzoic acid is also used in the manufacture of plasticisers, resin coatings and caprolactam. It is an antiseptic, antifungal, antipyretic agent, and can be used as an alkalimetric standard. Added to alcoholic beverages, baked goods, cheeses, gum, condiments, frozen dairy, relishes, soft sweets, cordials and sugar substitutes. Used in cosmetics, as an antiseptic in many cough medications and an antifungal in ointments; can cause asthma, especially in those dependant on steroid asthma medications. Is also reputed to cause neurological disorders and to react with sulphur bisulphite (222), shown to provoke hyperactivity in children and can cause asthma in those dependant on steroid asthma medications. Other names: benzene carboxylic acid
211
E211
Sodium benzoate The sodium salt of benzoic acid, sodium benzoate fulfils an antibacterial and antifungal role, and to disguise taste, as of poor-quality food; orange diet soft drinks contain a high amount of it, up to 25mg per 250ml; also in milk and meat products, relishes and condiments, baked goods and lollies, tooth pastes, mouth washes, maple syrup and margarine; used in many oral medications including Actifed, Phenergan and Tylenol; known to causes nettle rash and aggravate asthma. Suspected to be a neurotoxic hazard.
212
E212
Potassium benzoate The potassium salt of benzoic acid, potassium benzoate fulfils an antibacterial and antifungal role. Typical products include margarine, pickles, fruit juice. People with a history of allergies may show allergic reactions. for using. See 210.
213
E213
Calcium benzoate See 212. The calcium salt of benzoic acid, calcium benzoate fulfils an antibacterial and antifungal role. Typical products include fruit juice.
E214 Ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate A derivative of benzoic acid. Has anaesthetic properties and may cause numbness to the mouth.Typical products include beer, fruit preserves and juices, sauces, flavouring syrups, fruit deserts, processed fish. Avoid it. Banned in Australia.
E215 Sodium ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate The sodium salt of ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate, used as an antibacterial and antifungal preservative, also has anaesthetic effects. Avoid it. Banned in Australia.
216
E216
Propylparaben Synthesised from benzoic acid (E200). Antimicrobial, may be a numbing effect on the mouth. Typical products include beer, fruit sauces, pickles and preserves, fruit deserts, fruit squashes and juices, processed fish. Preservative. Possible contact allergen when used in cosmetics.
E216 Propyl para-hydroxybenzoate Preservative. Possible contact allergen and potentially dangerous to asthmatics.
E217 Sodium propyl para-hydroxybenzoate The sodium salt of propyl para-hydroxybenzoate, E217 is produced from benzoic acid and is an antimicrobial preservative. May cause irritation to sensitive skin. Avoid it.  Banned in Australia.
218 Methylparaben Preservative. Possible contact allergen.
E218 Methyl para-hydroxybenzoate Synthesised from benzoic acid, methyl para-hydroxybenzoate is a antimicrobial agent. Typical products include beer, fruit products, pickles, sauces, deserts, soft drinks, processed fish. Preservative. Allergic reactions possible, mainly affecting the skin.
219
E219
Sodium methyl p-hydroxybenzoate  The sodium salt of E218, sodium methyl para-hydroxybenzoate is primarily an antifungal agent. May cause irritation to the skin. Banned in Australia. Avoid it.
220
E220
Sulphur dioxide Preservative. Occurs naturally in the atmosphere and as a pollutant gas from combustion processes, sulphur dioxide is implicated in formation of acid rain and has a choking odour. Derived from coal tar; all sulphur drugs are toxic and restricted in use (in USA, FDA** prohibits their use on raw fruits and vegetables), produced by combustion of sulphur, hydrogen sulphide or gypsum; known to provoke gastric irritation, nausea, diarrhoea, skin rash, asthma attacks and difficult to metabolise for those with impaired kidney function, also destroys vitamin B1 (thiamin), and should be avoided by anyone suffering from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease. Typical products are beer, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar, potato products. Similar functional properties are displayed by the sulphites (E221-E227). Other names: sulphur superoxide.
221
E221
Sodium sulphite The sodium salt of sulphurous acid. Used to sterilise fermentation equipment and food containers, as well as for its antimicrobial properties. Generally meat, cereals and dairy products may not be treated with E221 as it destroys thiamine content. Over exposure to sulphites in food may cause an asthmatic attack, or cause gastric irritation. Typical products include fresh fruit and vegetables, beer, wine, fruit juices and sauces, frozen shellfish.. See 220 Other names: anhydrous sodium sulfite, sodium sulphite
222 Sodium bisulphite See 220.
222
E222
Sodium hydrogen sulphite See 220. Another sodium salt of sulphurous acid, sulphur dioxide may be released from food containing sulphites. May induce an attack in asthmatics, or cause gastric irritation due to this release of sulphur dioxide. Thiamine is destroyed by sulphites. Sulphites are also used as bleaching agents. Typical products include beer, wine, cider, fruit squashes and juice, fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen shellfish, jams, pickles.
223
E223
Sodium metabisulphite Another sodium salt of sulphurous acid, see E222. Used as an antimicrobial preservative, antioxidant and bleaching agent in food.  Typical products include preserved fruit and vegetables, pickles, fruit juice, frozen vegetables, frozen shellfish, dried fruits, fruit deserts. Treating agent, see 220. Other names: pyrosulphurous acid, disodium salt.
224
E224
Potassium metabisulphite A potassium salt of sulphurous acid, see E222. Used as an antimicrobial preservative, particularly in wine. Typical products include wine, frozen vegetables, fruit juice, fruit preserves, pickles, frozen shellfish. See 220. Other names: potassium pyrosulfite, pyrosulfurous acid dipotassium salt
225
E225
Potassium sulphite See 220.
226
E226
Calcium sulphite A calcium salt of sulphurous acid, see E222. Used not only as a preservative but also as a firming agent and disinfectant. Typical products include wine, fruit juice, canned fruit and vegetables, fruit pickles and preserves. Avoid it. Banned in Australia.
227
E227
Calcium hydrogen sulphite Another calcium salt of sulphurous acid, see E222. Used not only as a food preservative, but also as a firming agent and disinfectant in food preparation. Typical products include beer, canned fruit and vegetables, jams, pickles, fruit juice, fruit jelly. Avoid it.  Banned in Australia.
228 Potassium bisulphite See 220.
228
E228
Potassium hydrogen sulphite Another potassium salt of sulphurous acid, see E222. Used not only as a food preservative, but also as a firming agent and disinfectant in food preparation. Typical products include beer, canned fruit and vegetables, jams, pickles, fruit juice, fruit jelly. See 220.
230
E230
Biphenyl, Diphenyl An antifungal derivative of benzene, used to inhibit the growth of mould on citrus fruits. Typical products include oranges, lemons, grapefruits. Banned in Australia.
231
E231
Orthophenyl phenol Can be used for agricultural purposes; typical products are pears, carrots, peaches, plums, prunes, sweet potato, citrus fruit, pineapples, tomatoes, peppers, cherries, nectarines. Banned in Australia.
232
E232
Sodium orthophenyl phenol The sodium salt of E231, used as an antibacterial and antifungal preservative in food. Typical products include oranges, lemons, grapefruits, other citrus fruits.
233
E233
Thiabendazole Thiabendazole is used as a preservative in food, but it is also a fungicide and used in the veterinary profession. Can be used for agricultural purposes, typical products are citrus fruits, apples, pears, potatoes, bananas, mushrooms, meat, milk. Also used as a medical treatment for some conditions, resulting in 30% of patients suffering from anorexia, nausea, vomiting and vertigo. Banned in Australia.
234
E234
Nisin Antibiotic produced during the growth of bacterium Streptococcus lactis and is a polypeptide antibiotic used in food as a preservative. Found in beer, processed cheese products, tomato paste.
235
E235
Natamycin, Pimaracin Mould inhibitor derived from bacteria; sometimes used medically to treat candidiasis; can cause nausea, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhoea and skin irritation; typical products are meat, cheese.
236
E236
Formic acid Formic acid is used as a preservative in food, and also in manufacture of leather and preparation of latex rubber. It occurs naturally in ants, is completely soluble in water, and in solution exists as hydrogen-bonded dimers. It is industrially synthesised from carbon monoxide, and is thought to exist in two resonance forms. Formic acid has diuretic properties. Avoid it. Banned in Australia. Other names: formylic acid, hydrogen carboxylic acid, methanoic acid
E237 Sodium formate This is the sodium salt of formic acid, E236, formerly used as a diuretic. Avoid it. Banned in Australia. Other names: formic acid sodium salt
E238 Calcium formate This is the calcium salt of formic acid, E236, formerly used as a diuretic. Avoid it. Banned in Australia.
E239 Hexamethylene tetramine, Hexamine Hexamine is an antibacterial agent and a physiologically active compound due to the presence of N. It is manufactured using formaldehyde and ammonia, and prolonged ingestion may result in stomach upsets. Hexamine may be carcinogenic. Typical products include marinated fish. Avoid it. Banned in Australia.
E240  Formaldehyde Formaldehyde is the most important industrial aldehyde with about 3.6 million tonnes of formaldehyde being made each year. The industrial synthesis of formaldehyde involves methanol. The incomplete combustion of organic compounds results in formaldehyde formation, hence smoked foods are preserved not only by phenolic substances present in the smoke, by the formaldehyde coating. It is also used as a disinfectant and a fungicide. Its main application is in the preparation of phenolic resins (or phenol-formaldehyde copolymers, e.g. bakelite). Formaldehyde is also used in the preparation of ribose. Other names: formalin, formic aldehyde, methylene oxide, oxomethane, paraform.
Other Info: Causes burns. Very toxic by inhalation, ingestion and through skin absorption. Readily absorbed through skin. Possible cancer hazard. Mutagen. May cause damage to kidneys. May cause allergic reactions. May cause sensitisation. May cause heritable genetic damage. Lachrymator. Very destructive of mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract, eyes and skin.
242
E242
Dimethyl dicarbonate Yeast inhibitor, preservative. Used in fruit drinks, sports drinks and wine.
249
E249
Potassium nitrite Potassium nitrite is the potassium salt of nitrous acid and is used as a curing agent and preservative in meat. Excessive ingestion may result in such high concentrations of nitrites in the bloodstream that reduced concentrations of oxygen are carried by haemoglobin in red blood cells, resulting in shortness of breath, dizziness and headaches. Nitrites may also form nitrosamines in the stomach, thought to be carcinogenic agents. Potassium nitrite inhibits the growth of bacteria responsible for botulism, retards development of rancidity, and preserves flavours. Less than 10% of nitrate (nitrite) intake is from cured meats, with the rest coming from mainly root vegetables. Typical products include processed meats, cured and smoked meat and fish, root vegetables. Not permitted in foods for infant and young children. Other names: nitrous acid potassium salt.
250
E250
Sodium nitrite Sodium nitrite is the sodium salt of nitrous acid. See E249. Typical products include processed meats, cured and smoked meat and fish, root vegetables. Toxic. May be fatal if swallowed. Eye, skin and respiratory irritant. Some laboratory experiments suggest that this material may act as a carcinogen. May provoke hyperactivity and other adverse reactions, restricted in many countries, can combine with chemicals in stomach to form nitrosamine, the HACSG* recommends to avoid it.
251
E251
Sodium nitrate, saltpetre Sodium nitrate is a natural mineral, occurring in great abundance in the Atacama desert (hence the name Chile saltpetre). It is used as a preservative and curing agent in meat. See E249, potassium nitrite. Typical products include processed meats, cured and smoked meat and fish, root vegetables. Also used in the manufacture of nitric acid, as a fertiliser. (see 250). Harmful if swallowed or inhaled. Skin, eye and respiratory irritant. Other names: Chile saltpetre, cubic nitre, nitric acid sodium salt
252
E252
Potassium nitrate Potassium nitrate is a naturally occurring mineral used as a preservative and curing agent in meat. It is artificially manufactured by the reaction of potassium chloride with nitric acid. See E249, potassium nitrite. Potassium nitrate is used in fireworks as well as fertilisers. Typical products include processed meats, cured and smoked meat and fish, root vegetables. May be derived from waste animal or vegetable matter. May cause reproductive disorders. May provoke hyperactivity and other adverse reactions; potentially carcinogenic; restricted in many countries (see 249).
260
E260
Acetic acid Acetic acid (ethanoic acid) has been used for hundreds of years 
as a preservative (vinegar, French for "sour wine"). If during the fermentation of grapes or other fruits, oxygen is allowed into the container, then bacteria convert the ethanol present into ethanoic acid causing the wine to turn sour. Acetic acid may be synthetically produced using methanol carbonylation, acetaldehyde oxidation, or butane/naphtha oxidation. Pure acetic acid is termed "glacial", and is completely miscible with water. Typical products include fish fingers, butter, margarine, processed cheese, curry powder, cooking oil. Other names: ethanoic acid. Acetic acid is strongly corrosive and causes serious burns, as well as being a lachrymator.
261
E261
Potassium acetate Food acid. he potassium salt of acetic acid, E260. In industry is used to aid conditioning of fabrics, used in the manufacture of penicillin. Should be avoided by people with impaired kidney function; typical products are sauces, pickles. Other names: acetic acid potassium salt, potassium ethanoate, ethanoic acid potassium salt. May irritate the skin, eyes and lungs.
262
E262
Sodium acetate and anydrous,
Sodium diacetate
(i) Sodium Acetate - The sodium salt of acetic acid, E260. Acts as a buffer in foods. Technical grade sodium acetate is used as a mordant in dyeing processes, as buffers in petroleum production, and for kidney dialysis processes. In plastic manufacturing it is used as a retarder for some elastomers. Typical products include bouillons. No known adverse effects. May irritate the skin, harmful if ingested.
(ii) Sodium hydrogen acetate (sodium diacetate) - A vinegar used as a mould inhibitor in snack foods and bread, as a flavour enhancer in breads, cakes, cheese and snack food. Technical grade sodium hydrogen acetate is used as a buffer in petroleum production. Typical products include bread, crisps and other snack foods, cheese, cakes.
263
E263
Calcium acetate Calcium acetate is used in food as a thickening agent (cake mixtures, puddings, pie fillings), as a buffer in controlling the pH of food during processing, as a preservative to prevent microbial growth, and as a calcium supplement in pet products. In other areas of industry calcium acetate is used in dyeing and printing.
Typical products include packet deserts, pie fillings. Other names: calcium acetate monohydrate, calcium diacetate. May cause eye, skin or respiratory irritation. Mutagenic effects noted in laboratory tests.
264
E264
Ammonium acetate Can cause nausea and vomiting.  Used in products that also contain acetates.
270
E270
Lactic acid Occurs naturally in sour milk, apples, tomatoes and molasses.  Food acid, acidity regulator; produced by heating and fermenting carbohydrates in potatoes, cornstarch or molasses; No side effects in adults. D- or DL-lactates (stereoisomers) should not be given to babies and small children, as they have not yet developed the appropriate enzymes in the liver to metabolise these forms of lactate; used in sweets, dressings, soft drinks (sometimes beer), infant formulas and confectionary. lactic acid and lactates can be consumed by all religious groups, vegans and vegetarians. Although the name refers to milk, it is mot made from milk and thus suitable for people with milk allergy or lactose intolerance.
280
E280
Propionic acid All propionates are thought to be linked with migraine headaches; propionates occur naturally in fermented foods, human perspiration and ruminants digestive tract, also can be derived commercially from ethylene and carbon monoxide or propionaldehyde or natural gas or fermented wood pulp; produced when bacteria decompose fibre; commonly used in bread cheese and flour products.  Corrosive - causes burns. Harmful if swallowed. Liquid may burn eyes. Severe eye and skin irritant. Other names: carboxyethane, ethylformic acid, methylacetic acid.
281
E281
Sodium propionate Sodium propionate is the sodium salt of propionic acid, E280. It is used as an antimicrobial agent in bread to prevent germination of some types of bacteria which causes sticky yellow patches to occur. Occurs naturally in fermented food, human sweat and stomachs of cows. May irritate the eyes and skin, readily absorbed through the skin. May be linked to migraines, typical products are processed cheese and flour/bread products. Other names: propionic acid, sodium salt.
282
E282
Calcium propionate Calcium propionate is the calcium salt of propionic acid, E280. It is used as an antimicrobial agent in bread to prevent germination of some types of bacteria which causes sticky yellow patches to occur. Typical products include bakery products, dairy products.  Can cause symptoms similar to a gall bladder attack.
283
E283
Potassium propionate Potassium propionate is the potassium salt of propionic acid, E280. It is used as an antimicrobial agent in bread to prevent germination of some types of bacteria which causes sticky yellow patches to occur. Typical products include bakery products, dairy products. See 281.
E284 Boric acid Preservative and bleaching agent. Boric acid is best known for being an antiseptic, but it is also used in insecticides, leather finishing, paints, soaps, wood preserving, and in ceramics and glass manufacturing. Boric acid is industrially synthesised by treating borax with strong acid. Boric acid forms crystals in which a planar array of BO3 units is joined by unsymmetrical H bonds. Used in foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and numerous industrial processes. Used in Australia for a well known ant poison. Suspected to be a neurotoxic hazard. Ingestion is harmful and may be fatal. Harmful by inhalation. Irritant. May cause congenital malformation in the fetus. Laboratory tests with animals suggest this material may cause reproductive disorders.
E285  Sodium tetraborate (borax) Borax has many industrial uses including as an added ingredient in washing powders, water softeners and soaps. Borax is also mixed with clay and other substances to produce porcelain enamels which is used in pottery, sinks etc. It is also used in the glass industry, the textile industry, in tanning leather, and in the manufacture of paper. Borax is obtained by mining of boron-containing rocks, or by recrystallisation from water sources. A major source of borax is the mineral kernite, abundant in the Mojave Desert. Other names: borax decahydrate, boricin, disodium tetraborate decahydrate. Possible risk that this may cause reproductive disorders, based on tests with laboratory animals. Eye and skin irritant. Harmful by ingestion. May be harmful by inhalation.
290
E290
Carbon dioxide Propellant, coolant, derived from lime manufacture; may increase the effect of alcohol; typical products are wine, soft drinks, confectionary. Delays ripening of fruit and vegetables. Suspected of being a neurotoxic hazard.  More than 10% in the air causes blackouts.
* Hyperactive Children Support Group (HACSG) (Canada)
** US Food and Drug Administration

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