June 2013


The central goal of the European Commission's food safety policy is to ensure a high level of protection of human health and consumers' interests in relation to food, whilst ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market. For more information go to DG Health and Consumer Protection site.

EDC News: EU and Food Additives

EU legislation defines additives as any substance not normally consumed as a food in itself and not normally used as a characteristic ingredient of food. It also defines 26 "technological purposes" such as:

The safety and authorisation of all food additives are assessed by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) and/or the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). To be authorised a food additive must meet the following conditions:

When authorising food additives other relevant factors may also be considered. These could include ethics, traditions, the environment, etc.

EU legislation states that food additives must have advantages and benefits for the consumer. Therefore, they have to serve one or more of the following purposes:

More information: