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E311 is an additive approved by the EU (European Union). It is used as a synthetic antioxidant in fatty food and drink products where it is sometimes included to prevent rancidity in oils. It is also used in some cosmetic products.

The common name for E311 is octyl gallate.

E311 is produced by the esterification (production of an ester by reacting alcohol and acid) of octanol and gallic acid, produced in plant tannins.

E311 is broken down back to gallic acid and octanol in the intestine. Gallic acid has been said to cause skin irritation, such as eczema, as well as hyperactivity and irritation to the stomach lining in high concentrations.

Examples of food and drink products that may include E311:

  • cereals
  • milk
  • cheese
  • salad dressings
  • fats
  • oils

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