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E316 is an additive approved by the EU (European Union). It is used as a synthetic antioxidant in food and drink products, especially meat.

The common name for E316 is sodium erythorbate. It is also known as gamma lactone sodium salt.

E316 is a synthetic isomer* of E300, which is also known as vitamin C. E316 has a much lower vitamin activity than E300.
*Isomers are compounds that have the same molecular formula, but a differing structural formulea, so a molecule of E316 contains the same types and proportions of atoms as a molecule of vitamin C, but they are arranged differently.

E316 is also the sodium salt of erythorbic acid (E315).

E316 decreases the amount of nitrates that are reduced to nitric acid, as well as reducing the amount of carcinogenic nitrosamines formed.

Examples of food and drink products that may include E316:

  • soft drinks
  • meat
  • poultry products

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