Guidance document describing the food categories of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on Food Additives – Updated February 2016

The guidance document describing the food categories in Part E of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on Food Additives has been udpated to February 2016.

It was elaborated by Commission services after consultation with the Member States’ experts on food additives and the relevant stakeholders, and updated to March 2015.

The descriptions of the categories can be useful for Member State control authorities and food industry to assure correct implementation of the food additives legislation.

The guidance document does not represent the official position of the Commission and they do not intend to produce legally binding effects. Only the European Court of Justice has jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings concerning the validity and interpretation of acts of the institutions of the EU pursuant to Article 267 of the Treaty. The Guidance notes have not been adopted on the basis of Article 19 (c) of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008.

The Union list of food additives approved for use in food and their conditions of use are included in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on food additives. The food additives are listed on the basis of the categories of food to which they may be added e.g. fish and fish products, fruit and vegetables, dairy products, confectionery, etc.

The list allows easy identification of the additives authorised for use in a certain foodstuff, offering greater transparency. The list is more accessible for all persons involved in any component of the food chain, be it as a consumer, the control authorities or the food industry. The improved transparency allows correct and therefore safer use of food additives.

This guidance document is provided to describe the different categories in order to enhance uniform application and enforcement. It should be noted that the food categories have been created with the sole purpose of listing the authorised additives and their conditions of use. The food category descriptors are not to be legal product designations nor are they intended for labelling purposes.

Where vertical legislation is referred to in the title of a category the definitions as provided in that legislation apply. In addition to the description of the categories, the guidance document also describes the foodstuffs in Annex II that are written in italic. The food category system does not specifically mention compound foodstuffs, e.g. prepared meals, because they may contain, pro rata, all the additives authorised for use in their components via carry over. Where necessary, this guidance document will be updated to provide further clarification.

(Source: EU Commission – DG Sante website)

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