E290; Carbon Dioxide
(in 251 products)

Potential Risk Index®:

ISCE InhaleISCE SwallowISCE ContactISCE Environment
PRI Legend


1. Acidity Regulator / Buffering Agent - Changes or maintains the acidity or basicity of food/cosmetics.
2. Leavening / Raising Agent - Causes or forms gas bubbles in food
3. Packaging Gas / Propellants - Packaging gas used as protection and inhibition of unwanted chemical reactions. Propellants used as a carrier gas to deliver other ingredients
4. Preservative - Prevents and inhibits the growth of unwanted microorganisms which may be harmful
Carbon Dioxide is a colorless, odorless, incombustible gas resulting from the oxidation of carbon. Natural sources include volcanoes, hot springs and geysers, and it is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. Because carbon dioxide is soluble in water, it occurs naturally in groundwater, rivers and lakes, ice caps, glaciers and seawater. It is present in deposits of petroleum and natural gas. [1]
Carbon dioxide is a food additive (E number 290) used as a propellant and acidity regulator in the food industry. Leavening agents cause dough to rise by producing carbon dioxide. Baker's yeast produces carbon dioxide by fermentation of sugars within the dough, while chemical leaveners such as baking powder and baking soda release carbon dioxide when heated or if exposed to acids. Carbon dioxide is also used to produce carbonated soft drinks and soda water. [1]
Recent Findings:
As of 2019, some scientists have found a way to capture carbon dioxide from the air and turn it back into carbon flakes and pure oxygen by using a liquid metal electrocatalyst. [2] This could have profound impacts in the future if the process can be made viable at an industrial scale. Not only would the level of carbon dioxide in the air be decreased, but pure oxygen has a lot of practical uses and the resultant carbon can be used to make carbon nanotubes.
It is approved to use as food additive in EU and generally recognized as safe food substance in US.
Scientific References:
2. Room temperature CO2 reduction to solid carbon species on liquid metals featuring atomically thin ceria interfaces (Nat Commun. 2019 Feb 26;10(1):865 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-08824-8)
Regulatory References:
1. US FDA Food Additives Status List [2018]
- Carbon dioxide
2. EU Approved Food Additive [2018]
- E290
3. Japan’s List of Designated Food Additives under Article 10 of the Food Sanitation Act
- Carbon Dioxide (Carbonic Acid, Gas)
4. Canada List of Permitted Food Additives
- List 8 - Carbon Dioxide
5. US FDA Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) Food Substances (21 CFR 184) [2017]
- § 184.1240 - Carbon dioxide

Safety and Hazards (UN GHS):

1. Harmful if inhaled (H332)
2. May cause respiratory irritation (H335)
3. May cause drowsiness or dizziness (H336)

Potential Health Concerns For:

1. Amnesia (PubMed ID:11564462)
2. Atherosclerosis (PubMed ID:9601935)
3. Cardiovascular Diseases (PubMed ID:21193387)
4. Hypercapnia (PubMed ID:8957205)
5. Learning Disorders (PubMed ID:6817363)
6. Memory Disorders (PubMed ID:24718106)
7. Panic Disorder (PubMed ID:17407170)

Potential Health Benefits For:

1. Hyperalgesia (PubMed ID:20561904)
2. Hypocapnia (PubMed ID:3098138)

User Comments:

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