E number

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E number (plural E numbers)

  1. Any of a range of European abbreviations for food additives used on labels.
    The E number E100 represents turmeric.
  2. (Britain, Ireland, informal) Any such additive, often regarded as undesirable.
    • 2003, Deirdre Brennan, Maighread Medbh, Nuala Ni Chonchuir, Divas!
      I finger Padre Pio paperweights and Our Lady of Knock sticks of rock that are packed with more e-numbers than could be safe at one sitting.
    • 2007, Anne Enright, The Gathering:
      ...how long it took corpses to go off these days, because everyone was so full of E-numbers and preservatives.

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