E312 is an additive approved by the EU (European Union). It is used as a synthetic antioxidant in fatty food and drink products, particularly to prevent rancidity in oils.
The common name for E312 is dodecyl gallate.
E312 is produced by the esterification (production of an ester by reacting alcohol and acid) of lauryl alcohol and gallic acid.
E312 is broken down back to gallic acid and lauryl alcohol in the intestine. Gallic acid has been known to cause skin irritation, such as eczema, as well as hyperactivity and irritation to the stomach lining in high concentrations.
Vegetarians and vegans avoid E312 because lauryl alcohol is produced from lauric acid, which can be derived from animal fat.
Examples of food and drink products that may include E312:
- salad dressings