The "E" in "E418" stands for "Europe" and refers to the European numbering system for food additives, which is also known as the "E number" system. The "E number" system was introduced to provide a standardized and uniform way of identifying food additives across the European Union.

Each food additive has been assigned a unique "E number" code, which is used to identify the specific additive on food ingredient labels and in food regulations. The "E418" code specifically refers to Gellan gum, a plant-based ingredient used as a thickener, stabilizer, and gelling agent in a variety of food products.

The use of "E numbers" makes it easier to regulate the use of food additives and monitor their safety, as well as to provide consumers with clear and concise information about the ingredients in their food.