E231 is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU) and used as an antifungal synthetic preservative in food products, particularly citrus fruits to prevent the growth of penicillium mould. It is mainly used for agricultural purposes.
The common name for E231 is orthophenyl phenol, which is synthesised from phenyl ether.
E231, as well as E230, is banned in Australia and has been known to cause liver, as well as central and peripheral nerve damage in those with frequent close contact to large amounts of the E231. This chemical is classified as an irritant. Headaches and skin disorders have also been reported in conjunction with the use of E231.
Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E231:
- sweet potatoes