Home Healthy Eating Diacetyl tartaric acid ester (E 472e): Use & Risks

Diacetyl tartaric acid ester (E 472e): Use & Risks

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 472 views

The European approval number E 472e, or the somewhat awkward term “diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides”, hides an emulsifier that is often used for baked goods and pasta. Find out here how it is made and why vegans are better off avoiding it.

E 472e – what is that?

The additive E 472e is a chemical compound. It is artificially produced by esterifying acetylated tartaric acid with mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids in the presence of acetic anhydride. Vegetable fat from soybeans is usually used for this. However, animal fats can also be used, but this is usually not evident from the additive itself. For this reason, it is no longer clear whether a food in which E 472e was used is vegan or not.

With an internationally traded commodity such as soybeans, it is technically hardly possible to strictly separate conventional and GM soybeans at all processing stages. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that GM soybeans may even be contained in products declared as “free of genetic engineering”.

Where is E 472e used?

In the food sector, E 472e is used as an emulsifier. So it mixes two intrinsically immiscible liquids, for example oil and water . This additive interacts particularly strongly with proteins, especially wheat gluten, which is why it is mainly used in the production of baked goods and pasta. In the case of noodles, for example, the additive ensures better bite resistance. It gives bread a finer crumb structure, stabilizes the dough and extends its shelf life.

E 472e is permitted without a maximum quantity restriction. Only for tartaric acid there is a recommended ADI amount of 30 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. ADI stands for Acceptable Daily Intake, i.e. the amount that an adult can take in daily for the rest of his life without any health risks.

Otherwise, the quantum satis principle applies, which means that as much of the additive may be used as is necessary to achieve the desired property in the respective product.

E 472e is found in the following foods, among others:

  • Violation
  • Puff Pastries
  • cake
  • Cookies
  • Margarine
  • Desserts

E 472e – is it a concern?

The additive E 472e is considered harmless and is therefore permitted without a maximum quantity restriction. It is broken down by the organism into the individual acid and fat components and metabolized like normal acids and natural fats. The various components of mono- and diglycerides are also formed when normal fat is digested.

Since it cannot be ruled out that animal fat, for example from pork, was used in production, people who avoid certain or all animal products for ethical or religious reasons should avoid foods with the additive E 472e .

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