What is Stabilizer E340?

The E Numbering is a system used by the European Union. Every approved food additive has a corresponding E number. It is safe to assume that every ingredient with a corresponding number is safe for use, unless otherwise revoked.

The Stabilizer E340 corresponds to three variants of Potassium phosphates. Namely, monopotassium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate and tripotassium phosphate. A food product having E340 on ingredient listing has either one or mixture of two or more.

stabilizer e340 with other ingredientsIn general, it is an antioxidant, acidity regulator and a chelating agent (for binding metal ions).

Monopotassium phosphate has other surprising non food applications, for fertilizer, fungicide and nonlinear optics.

Dipotassium phosphate or simply phosphoric acid is also used in fertilizer industry. Other applications includes the following: imitation dairy creamers, starter cultures, dry powder beverages, mineral supplements, agar plates and trypticase soy broth.

Tripotassium phosphate.  Function as emulsifier, foaming agent and whipping agent. Can be combined with fatty acid and use as antimicrobial agent in poultry industry.

Added to powdered product to prevent clumping. Three-in-one coffee has it. Don’t be fooled if it is not stated in ingredient listing. It  comes as part of non-dairy creamer.

A Gatorade component.

Have no recorded side effects.
Acceptable daily intake is 70mg/kg body weight. Halal approved. Dipotassium phosphate is listed in FDA as “generally recognized as safe”.

E340 is a potassium and phosphorus source. Generally safe when used with caution and should no be taken by persons having: high levels of potassium and phosphorus in the body, infected phosphate stones and severe kidney disease.

Persons with the following should consult the doctor first before taking supplement: rickets, pancreatitis, hypoparathyroidism, low level of calcium in body, high levels of sodium in body, swelling or water retention, liver disease or liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, bowel movement difficulty, and Addison’s disease.

It may cause the following side effects:  bone / joint pain, low urine, thirst, weight gain, feet and leg swelling and weakness, cramps, tiredness, seizure, diarrhea, headache and dizziness.

sources: 1, 2, 3