By Alice Stewart

E numbers are used to preserve, enhance and help maintain the nutritional value of food. The E471 emulsifier is a common additive that can be found in packaged food items.

Cup Cake Series
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Baked goods often contain E471.


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Soy beans and soybean oil.

The E471 emulsifier is composed of two molecules known as glyceryl monostearate and glyceryl distearate. It is manufactured from glycerine (E422), which can be obtained from either animal fats or soy bean oil.


A loaf of sliced bread
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A loaf of sliced bread.

E471 is frequently used as an anti-staling agent in baked goods, such as breads, cakes and pies. It can also be found in potato crisps, dessert toppings, aerosol creams, custard powder, margarine spreads and ice cream.


Nutrition Label on Canned Food
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Checking food label.

E471 can sometimes contain animal sources that are not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or for those who are following a halal diet. Check the food packaging for clarification; a vegetarian-friendly product will have a special stamp indicating it is so.