Why do some Modified Starches have E-Numbers?

Modified starches are produced from the same primarily EU-grown non-GMO agricultural raw materials - such as wheat, maize, or starch potatoes - as native starches or any other starch-based ingredient.

To produce Modified Starches, the starch slurry is modified by treating it by physical, chemical or enzymatic means. 

When chemicals are used in the modification process, to improve their functional properties, starch-derivatives are classified as food additives. 

According to EFSA’s definition, ‘Food additives are substances added intentionally to foodstuffs to perform certain technological functions, for example to colour, to sweeten or to help preserve foods.’ (EFSA - https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/food-additives)

In the European Union all food additives are identified by an E-number. 

As with any additives used in food in Europe, they have undergone rigorous testing by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) – most recently in 2017- and their use in food and beverages is regulated under Regulation (EC) 1333/2008 on food additives.

For more information on food additives, visit EFSA’s dedicated page: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/food-additives 

To learn more about Modified Starches, visit the dedicated ingredient page here: Modified Starches.

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