A food additive library on novel & engineered micro-organisms


Replacing the original 'E Number' or 'European Number' system of chemical, ultra-processed and natural additives, this new and expanding version includes only biologically ENGINEERED or EDITED micro-organisms which have been altered, created or re-programmed through the novel sciences of genetic engineering, gene editing and synthetic biology to produce flavours, aromas, colours, preservatives and nutrition for food and beverages.


Developed to counter or bypass the current rapid change in the climate, the decline of some species or for entirely novel purposes, these micro-organisms are new to the world-

they have not previously existed in nature in the same way. They are born in laboratories through integrating science, engineering and computing. They are entirely biological.


Difficult to read, identify and decipher on food labelling, some of the additives produced by these micro-organisms are in our food systems- in products at supermarkets, grocery stores, restaurants, markets and cafes.

The can also be described as 'nature identical' or even 'natural'.
The vanilla flavour vanillin, produced by engineered yeast is classified as EU (European Union) and US (United States) natural due to it being created through the natural process of fermentation (how beer and wine are made) and also as the micro-organisms are not present in the final additive or product. This flavouring additive can also be also classed as natural if it is identical in its chemical make-up as the vanillin found in nature- it is an exact copy which has however come through an alternative route.





Check out developments@AtoZUnit





Supported by:
Great North Museum: Hancock ASCUS GreenLab ASCUS