Binit Nalinkumar Shah
The Vegetarian Society UK http://www.vegsoc.org/Food/enumbers.html
E Numbers - from The Vegetarian Autumn 1994
Of the hundreds of E numbers and numbered additives there are very few which can never be made in a manner suitable for vegetarians - only two in fact E120 Cochineal (a red colouring) which is extracted from the carcass of the female of a breed of cactus-feeding scale insect; and E542 Edible Bone Phosphate (an anti-caking agent and mineral supplement supplying calcium and phosphorus).
However there are 47 others to look out for which may be vegetarian or not depending on their method of production - for example, many are fat based so can be made from either animal or non-animal fat. The following may all be of animal origin and therefore unsuitable for vegetarians. Where any of these additives appear on the ingredients listing of a product approved by The Vegetarian Society you can be sure that we have carefully checked the origin of the additive to ascertain its suitability for vegetarians.
E153 E473 E161(g) E474 E252 E475 E270 E476 E322 E477 E325 E478 E326 E479(b) E327 E481 E422 E482 E430 E483 E431 E491 E432 E492 E433 E493 E434 E494 E435 E495 E436 E570 E470(a) E572 E470(b) E585 E471 E631 E472(a) E635 E472(b) E640 E472(c) E920 E472(d) E472(e) E472(f)