Food Safety: Food Additives


Sections 7 to 9 of the Food Safety Act 1990 and Article 14 of general food law Regulation (EC) 178/2002 provide the framework for general food safety law. In addition, there are specific measures that deal with the chemical safety of food and control the extent to which certain groups of substances may be present in or on food. These groups comprise additives, flavourings, contaminants and residues. This document covers food additives, the first of these groups. The food additives which may be used in foods for human consumption are governed by Regulation (EC) 1333/2008 on food additives. Article 3(2)(a) defines ‘food additive’ as:

… any substance not normally consumed as a food in itself and not normally used as a characteristic ingredient of food, whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional addition of which to food for a technological purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packaging, transport or storage of such food results, or may be reasonably expected to result, in it or its by-products becoming directly or indirectly a component of such foods.