Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Food: Use of additives in the EU will be safer and more transparent

Food: Use of additives in the EU will be safer and more transparent
Published on: 14/11/2011
The use of additives in food will soon become even safer and more transparent than it currently is thanks to two pieces of legislation adopted by the European Commission.

The two regulations establish two new lists.

The first concerns additives in foodstuff and it will come into application in June 2013 (this grace period for the application was deemed necessary to allow the Union's food industry to adapt to the new rules). This list, which is also available in a database online (, will allow consumers, food business operators and control authorities to easily identify which additives are authorised in a particular foodstuff.

The second list regards additives in food ingredients, such as other additives, enzymes, flavourings and nutrients and it will apply 20 days after its publication in the EU's Official Journal.

The establishment of the two lists is an important step in the implementation of framework Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on food additives adopted in December 2008.

What else changes by the new legislative provisions

Apart from the establishment of the two lists, the new legislation also provides for:

  • well determined conditions under which additives may be added to food
  • a food categorisation with the additives listed in a clear way according to the categories of food to which they may be added
  • a programme for the full re-evaluation of the safety of all authorised additives
  • clear guidelines and instructions for the applicants requesting new uses of food additives