E920, a nasty chemical food additive? Or is it?

Here is a short piece I wrote in February 2013.

At the time it drew some comments on how E920 is produced from hair and feathers. It is possible to produce E920 synthetically. The problem is I know no way of checking if the E920 in any given product is synthetic or natural.

Can anyone enlighten me?

I have been watching Food and Drink on BBC2 tonight where they had a story on mass produced white bread baked using the Chorleywood process. The presenter was contrasting it with bread made by traditional methods. He even managed to drop the dreaded word 'artisan' into the description of the traditional loaf.

As part of the item they talked to a baker who snottily commented that the sliced white supermarket bread contained "something called E920" and his did not. That raised my curiosity, what was this dreaded 'E' number ingredient? I just had to look it up.

Guess what, E920 is the food additive designation for a naturally occurring amino acid called cysteine. We have been getting it in our everyday diet long before processed food came along as it is present in pork, chicken, eggs, milk, onions, broccoli, etc, etc, etc.

And if you are still not convinced it is natural, our own bodies produce it!

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