Additives, Flavourings and Enzymes

Policy Position

Food additives, flavourings and enzymes perform specific functions in processed food and drink products and can be used to improve certain attributes of processed food products, such as texture, appearance, taste or shelf-life (preservation). FDF welcomes the updating and consolidation of food additives and flavourings legislation, and the harmonisation of enzymes legislation.

FDF’s position throughout the legislative negotiations was that we did not wish to see major changes beyond the need to update and rationalise the legislation on additives and flavourings, which had worked well for nearly two decades, and to introduce workable harmonised controls for the use of food enzymes. FDF supports the introduction of comitology to allow for technical amendments to be made more rapidly once the Regulations are fully in place.



The use of food additives is strictly controlled and limited to specified levels in certain food categories. Where there is no quantitative limit, they must be used according to good manufacturing practice, i.e. only as much as necessary to achieve the desired technological effect. Food additives are authorised only after strict scientific assessments and may be used only if there is a technological need for their use; they do not mislead the consumer; they present no health hazard to the consumer; and they provide a benefit to the consumer. Their use is constantly reviewed to take into account new scientific information.


Last reviewed: 05 Mar 2019