EU relaxes rosemary antioxidant laws for lean meat and fish

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

EU relaxes rosemary antioxidant laws for lean meat and fish

Related tags: Fat content, Nutrition

The EU has relaxed food laws that prevented the use of rosemary antioxidants (E392) in lean meat and fish products, after an application by French supplier, Naturex in early 2012.

Rosemary extracts are used in meat and fish products to improve colour and flavour but had been restricted in low-fat products as the permitted antioxidant use was tied to the fat content of products.

Rosemary extracts are used in items like heat-treated, processed meats and processed fish but its use in low-fat versions was rendered virtually redundant because permitted levels did not deliver efficacious results. That basically meant products with less than 10% fat were off limits to the botanical extract.

“A number of meat and fish processors were frustrated as they could not use rosemary extracts at the most effective levels in products such as cooked ham, lean poultry, or processed fish,”​ said Baptiste Demur, business manager for savoury markets at Naturex.

The new law puts levels of use at 15 mg/kg, “for products with a fat content not  higher than 10% while maintaining the allowed maximum level of 150 mg/kg expressed on fat basis for the products with a fat content higher than 10%.”

The ruling​ is also applicable to molluscs and crustaceans.

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