Due for enforcement in April, revisions to Parnuts rules (Particular Nutritional Uses (Addition of Substances for Specific Nutritional Purposes) (Scotland) (Amendment)) were cleared recently by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and see calcium sulphate as a source of calcium, and the amino acid salts, N-acetyl-L-cysteine and N-acetyl-L-methionine, added to Schedule 1 and removed from Schedule 2.
In addition, the vitamin E entry in Schedule 2 has been corrected, the Food Standards Agency in Scotland said this week.
According to the FSA, the final text has also indicated an enforcement date of 31 March 2003, previously expected in April. ' In view of this, the deadline for comments is 27 February 2004,' said the FSA.
A review of the European rules implements two new Commission Directives amending Directive 2001/15/EC on substances that may be added for specific nutritional purposes in foods for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTS foods).
Directive 2001/15/EC includes an annex which contains a 'positive list' of substances (sources of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carnitine & taurine, nucleotides, and choline & inositol) that may be added for specific nutritional purposes in certain foods for particular nutritional uses.
However some substances were already being used in marketed PARNUTS foods at the time of adoption of 2001/15/EC but had not been evaluated by the Scientific Committee on Food and have now received a positive scientific opinion from the SCF or EFSA.
Infant formulae, follow-on formulae, processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children are outside the scope of Directive 2001/15/EC and its amending Directives. Article 3 of 2001/15/EC requires that the European member states prohibit trade in non-compliant products as from from 1 April 2004.
Implementing legislation must be in force by 31 March 2004 but the new directives have not yet been finalised and may not be adopted and published in the Official Journal until next year.
All comments should be sent to Steve Hardie at the Food Standards Agency Scotland by 27 February 2004.