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EC comments on Codex draft food additives standard

By staff reporter , 30-Nov-2006

The EC has commented on Codex's draft standard for fat spreads and blended spreads - food additives section.

The 19th session of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils finalised all sections of the draft standard for fat spreads and blended spreads with the exception of the section on food additives and agreed to hold the draft standard at step seven and to return section four.

The deadline for governments and international organisations wishing to submit comments was today. While the Commission is in agreement with much of the draft circular, it nonetheless disagrees with a number of points.

Part I - Flavours - Recommendation 1

The EC agrees with the inclusion of flavours in this standard but questions the inclusion of the term nature-identical flavouring substances as this is not defined in the codex system.

"Such flavourings would anyway fall under the term artificial flavourings," said the EC.

Part II Food Additive Functional Classes that are technologically Justified Recommendation 2

The EC also agrees with the functional classes identified as technologically justified for use in foods falling within the scope of this standard. It also fully supports the principle that the CCFO should continue to identify the individual additives necessary for inclusion in the standard.

Part III Acceptable Maximum Use Levels for Additives Assigned a Numeric JECFA ADI - Recommendation 3

However, the EC said that it did not consider it necessary to use the antioxidants BHA, BHT and TBHQ in foodstuffs within this standard.

"Such products are refrigerated and therefore a suitable shelf life can already be maintained," it said. "However there is a technological need for products which are intended to be used in the preparation of heat treated foodstuffs, in order to protect the foodstuff from oxidation following heating."

In terms of colours, the EC also said that it thought the inclusion of the canthaxanthin in this standard was unnecessary. It did however welcome the request for further evidence for the need of caramels and riboflavins in this standard.

The EC also welcomed the request for further evidence for the need of diacetyltartaric and fatty acid esters of glycerol, stearyl citrate, and for the need of a level of 20,000 mg/kg of propylene glycol esters of fatty acids.

"For a number of provisions in the standards the restriction to products for baking purposes only has been questioned. The EC supports these restrictions for such uses as an additional technological need is evident. Products used for baking purposes must additionally exert their technological function at higher temperatures and in different matrices, this is not necessary to the same extent in a fat spread."

The EC also considered that the use of sorbates is adequate to preserve the products covered by this standard.

Part IV Additives assigned an ADI Not Specified or Not Limited by JECFA Recommendation 4

The EC felt that the CCFO should list the particular additives in table three of the GSFA, which are necessary for use in products falling within this standard. It also pointed out that in annex I page seven, citric acid (INS 330) is incorrectly referred to as calcium acid.

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