Food Additives

Codex Committee on Food Additives (Host Government — China)

The Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) establishes and endorses permitted maximum levels for individual food additives. The CCFA prepares priority lists of food additives for risk assessment by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives as well as assigning functional classes to individual food additives.

The committee also recommends specifications of identity and purity for food additives for adoption by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and considers methods of analysis for the determination of additives in food.

Establishment of the Committee

The 29th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted the terms of reference proposed for the CCFA, thereby deciding to replace the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (CCFAC) with the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) and the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF). The Commission agreed that each Committee should review its terms of reference at its first session.

Existing Codex Standards

Standards relating to food additives* that have been endorsed and adopted into the international food code:

  • General Standard for the Labelling of Food Additives when sold as such
  • General Standard for Food Additives
  • General Principles for the Use of Food Additives in Food
  • List of Codex Advisory Specifications for Food Additives
  • Guidelines for Simple Evaluation of Food Additive Intake
  • Class Names and the International Numbering System for Food Additives

*This is an indicative list only. For a full list of standards approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, please consult its Official List of Standards.

Last Meeting

The 46th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives was held in Hong Kong, China from 17 – 21 March 2014.

Matters for Adoption by the 37th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission

The Committee forwarded:

  • Proposed draft Guidelines for the Simple Evaluation of Dietary Exposure to Food Additive (revision of CAC/GL 3-1989) for adoption at Step 5/8
  • Draft and proposed draft food additive provisions of the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA) for adoption at Steps 8 and 5/8
  • Proposed draft amendments to the International Numbering System for Food Additives for adoption at Step 5/8
  • Proposed draft Specifications for the Identity and Purity of Food Additives for adoption at Step 5/8

Other matters for adoption

  • Amendments to the Notes of the GSFA (para. 14 and Appendix II);
  • Revised provisions for aluminium-containing food additives in selected standards
  • Revised food additives sections of the standards for Luncheon Meat (CODEX STAN 89-1981), for Corned Beef (CODEX STAN 88-1981), for Cooked Cured Ham (CODEX STAN 96-1981); for Cooked Pork Shoulder (CODEX STAN 97-1981) and for Cooked Cured Chopped Meat (CODEX STAN 98-1981)
  • Revised food additives provisions of GSFA food category 08.0 “Meat and meat products, including poultry” and its sub-categories (para 43 and Appendix IX Part D).

Codex Standards and Related Texts for revocation

The Committee agreed to request the 37th Session of the Commission to revoke:

  • Provisions for brilliant blue (INS 133) in food category 09.2.5 “Smoked, dried, fermented, and/or salted fish and fish products, including mollusks, crustaceans and echinoderms” of the GSFA
  • Provisions related to ammonium acetate (INS 264), ammonium adipates (INS 359), ammonium lactate (INS 328), choline salts and esters (INS 1001), chlorine dioxide (INS 926), formic acid (INS 236) and
    potassium hydrogen malate (INS 351 (i))
  • Food additive provisions of the GSFA (para. 101 and Appendix XII).

Other Matters of interest to the Commission and FAO and WHO

The Committee agreed:

  • To request JECFA to (i) revise the specifications monograph for potassium acetate to list INS 261(i) and clarify whether the group ADI for potassium acetates also include the potassium diacetate and (ii) consider deleting the functional use of carrier in the specifications for potassium aluminium silicate (INS 555)
  • To continue work on alignment food additive provisions of commodity standards and relevant provisions of the GSFA
  • To prepare a discussion paper on secondary food additives, including a definition
  • To request information on the availability of data for the re-evaluation of the prioritised six colours for consideration by the Working Group on Priority
  • To forward the Priority List of substances proposed for evaluation to FAO and WHO for their follow-up
  • Prepare a discussion paper on inconsistent terminology related to flavourings in the Guidelines for the Use of Flavourings (CAC/GL 66-2008) and other Codex standards

Matters Referred to Codex Committees and Task Forces

Committee on Fish and Fishery Products (CCFFP)

The Committee:

  • Endorsed the food additive provisions forwarded by the CCFFP and noted that phosphates INS 342(i),(ii) and INS 343(i)-(iii) in the draft Standard for Fresh and Quick Frozen Raw Scallop Products were associated with functions of humectant or sequestrant, which were not listed in CAC/GL 36-1989
  • Agreed to add a note to the provisions for phosphates in food category 09.2.2 “Frozen battered fish, fish fillets and fish products, including molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms” of the GSFA to read: “At 400 mg/kg as phosphorous for use singly or in combination in breaded or batter coating is accordance with Standard for Quick Frozen Fish Sticks (Fish Fingers), Fish Portions and Fish Fillets – Breaded or in Batter (CODEX STAN 166-1989)”

Next Meeting

The 47th Session of the Committee on Food Additives will be held from 23 – 27 March 2015. The exact venue and location will be determined bu the host Government in consultation with the Codex Secretariat.  

Last reviewed:
02 Apr 2014