Wednesday, September 21, 2011

EU Community Legislation on Food Additives

The European Commission maintains a useful Web site of EU community legislation on food additives, which consists of a framework Directive and three specific Directives: colours; sweeteners; the remaining food additives. The Community Legislation on food additives is based on the principle that only those additives that are explicitly authorised may be used. Most food additives may only be used in limited quantities in certain foodstuffs. If no quantitative limits are foreseen for the use of a food additive, it must be used according to good manufacturing practice, i.e. only as much as necessary to achieve the desired technological effect. Food additives may only be authorised if (1) there is a technological need for their use; (2) they do not mislead the consumer; (3) they present no health hazard to the consumer.  Prior to their authorisation, food additives are evaluated for their safety by the European Food Safety Authority.

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