Welcome to our online database of the International Numbering System for Food Additives (INS). The INS was created by the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (CCFAC). The purpose of the INS is to provide a numerical system for identifying food additives in ingredient lists. The system is based on the numbering scheme used by the European Union.

For additional information about the INS, please consult the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme - Codex Alimentarius Commission web site.

For your browsing convenience, INS additives are organized by the function they perform:

Acidity Regulator

Alters or controls the acidity or alkalinity of a food

Anticaking agent

Reduces the tendency of particles of food to adhere to one another

Antifoaming agent

Prevents or reduces foaming


Prolongs the shelf-life of foods by protecting against deterioration caused by oxidation, such as fat rancidity and colour changes

Bulking agent

A substance, other than air or water, which contributes to the bulk of a food without contributing significantly to its available energy value


Adds or restores colour in a food

Colour retention agent

Stabilizes, retains or intensifies the colour of a food


Forms or maintains a uniform mixture of two or more immiscible phases such as oil and water in a food

Firming agent

Makes or keeps tissues of fruit or vegetables firm and crisp, or interacts with gelling agents to produce or strengthen a gel

Flavour enhancer

Enhances the existing taste and/or odour of a food

Flour treatment agent

A substance added to flour to improve its baking quality or colour

Foaming agent

Makes it possible to form or maintain a uniform dispersion of a gaseous phase in a liquid or solid food

Gelling agent

Gives a food texture through formation of a gel

Glazing agent

A substance which, when applied to the external surface of a food, imparts a shiny appearance or provides a protective coating


Prevents food from drying out by counteracting the effect of an wetting agent atmosphere having a low degree of humidity


Prolongs the shelf-life of a food by protecting against deterioration caused by microorganisms


A gas, other than air, which expels a food from a container

Raising agent

A substance or combination of substances which liberate gas and thereby increase the volume of a dough


Makes it possible to maintain a uniform dispersion of two or more immiscible substances in a food


A non-sugar substance which imparts a sweet taste to a food


Increases the viscosity of a food


Not currently classified

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