Regulation No. (EC) 1333/2008 sets requirements for food additives. The permitted use of each additive is recorded per food product or group of food products. Annex II lists the permitted additives for food products. In addition to ‘normal’ additives, this list also includes food colours rand sweeteners. Annex III lists the permitted additives in enzymes, flavourings and additives. If a product is not listed, this means that it is not permitted. An online database makes it easier for the food industry and consumers to determine which additives are permitted in a certain food product. After entering the additive via the tab sheet ‘Additives’, the options for use per category of food product can be found by clicking on the ‘Categories’ button.

A number of changes have been implemented in annexes II and III via Regulation (EU) 2015/647. Annex II has been amended again via Regulation (EU) No. 2016/324 with regard to the permitted additives in food products for infants and young children.

For the labelling of additives for sale to consumers, the labelling instructions as set out in Regulation No. (EC) 1169/2011 must be followed. According to Annex VII, part C additives must be listed with the name of the category, followed by their specific name or E number. If an additive belongs to more than one category, then the category that corresponds to the primary function in the food product in question must be listed.

According to article 20 of Regulation No. (EC) 1169/2011, food additives that were used during the process as a processing aid or that formed an ingredient in one of the raw materials used (in accordance with the carry-over principle), but serve no technological function in the finished product do not need to be included in the list of ingredients. The additive should be listed as an ingredient only if it is an allergen.

Rules about the labelling of food additives that are not intended for sale to the final consumer are described in article 21, 22 and 23 of Regulation No. (EC) 1333/2008.

The European Commission has drafted a guideline for the drafting and submission of applications for updates to the EU lists of food flavourings, enzymes and additives. Click here to download this ‘Practical guidance for applicants on the submission of applications on food additives, food enzymes and food flavourings’.

A processing aid is a substance that:

  • Is consciously used during the processing of raw materials, food products or food ingredients to fulfil a specific technological purpose during processing or handling. 
  • This can result in the unintentional, but technically unavoidable, presence of residues of this substance or by-products of this substance in the finished product, provided that these residues do not form a danger to public health and do not have any technological effects on the finished product.
Last modified: April 23, 2018 13:21