How E is shaping our lives

One of the most important vowels in our daily lives is E. After switching on the computer we check E‑mail. Once a week we need to pay a bill via E-bank. Recently I have opened a PayPal account, which belongs to E-commerce category. I almost forgot to mention Ebay.

Beside cyber E-s, there are also other occurrences of letter E that are even more important. At least in Europe, we are dealing with Euro, which has a nice abbreviation – €.

A little bit relative in terms of its existence, but still important is the result of the following equation: m . c2.   I am talking about energy of course, which is represented with letter E. What do Middle and Far have in common? No, I am not talking about fingers here. Middle East and Far East are the ones I had in mind.

Today I learned about new meaning of E: ∃ (a backwards E) is the symbol for “there exists…”, in predicate logic. It’s elementary Watson!

Vitamins are a necessary part of our daily nutrition. One that is responsible for stopping aging is… Did you guess? Vitamin E of course. Above I mentioned Euro. If you have ever bought any product lately and checked the label, you might have noticed E-numbers (E stands for Europe). E-numbers range from E100 to E1599.

  1. 100–199: Colours
  2. 200–299: Preservatives
  3. 300–399: Antioxidants & acidity regulators
  4. 400–499: Thickeners, stabilisers & emulsifiers
  5. 500–599: pH regulators & anti-caking agents
  6. 600–699: Flavour enhancers
  7. 700–799: Antibiotics
  8. 900–999: Miscellaneous
  9. 1100–1599: Additional chemicals – New chemicals that do not fall into standard classification schemes

Let’s be practical with all these E-s. Let me give you a few examples:

E164 (Saffron). Tell your uncle Manuel when you visit Spain that you want your paella without Saffron.

E250 (Sodium Nitrite) is responsible for your frankfurter sausages looking red and not dull brown. Would you touch a sausage that looks as dull as ditchwater?

E306 stands for a group of natural tocopherols. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant, a molecule that among others prevents aging.

E621. This one was an inspiration for this blog. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavour enhancer. There is an abundance of MSG in Soy sauce. But why is MSG not listed on the label as E621? Because MSG in soy sauce is a natural part of the product and it was not added. Only additives are listed as E-numbers, not naturally occurring ingredients. We all know that soy is a good source of proteins. Proteins are made of amino acids. Glutamic acid is one of them. As soy sauce is made of soybeans, molds, water and salt (Sodium Chloride), it is natural that Glutamic acid and Sodium are part of the soy sauce.

Let me finish today’s blog with a thought. We need to be reasonable with what we see and we need to process the given information with a pinch of salt and not believe all information that is served to us – let it be via mass media, from some nutty professor, from your parents, friends and colleagues or even your local evangelist.  Use your head and form own opinion on the matter. Obtain all info you need and only then spread it around. Do not become a “loudspeaker” in hands of manipulators.


About Sebastjan Brezovec

I see blogging as a welcome distraction from daily routine. It gives me freedom to express myself as well as motivation for some research before publishing the content.
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