Codex questions certain sweetener, color uses

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: E number

The Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) is calling for
comments and additional information on uses of certain compounds,
including sweeteners and colors, in order to assess their inclusion
in the Codex General Standards for Food Additives (GSFA).

Additives under consideration include aspartame, acesulfame potassium, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, carmine, beta-carotene, polysorbates, and sulphites. The 39th​ Session of CCFA requires the additional information on draft and proposed draft food additive provisions as part of its procedure to complete work on GSFA. If this is not provided, CCFA said the next session of the Committee will discontinue work on these food additive provisions and remove them from GSFA. An electronic working group, led by the United States, has been established to examine any comments received, and to submit a report with its recommendations on the draft maximum levels for colors and food additives under consideration. This will then be considered by the 40th​ Session of CCFA, scheduled in April 2008. The comments called for include justification for use of additives in certain applications, or technological need for their use. For example, information is requested on the use of certain sweeteners, including aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame potassium, in fermented milk products, cheese analogues, bread, dried fruit and vinegar. In addition, the use of aspartame in chocolate products and hard and soft candy is also questioned, as well as the use of sucralose in breakfast cereals. In the case of color ingredients, CCFA requests comments on the use of Brilliant Blue FCF, Caramel III (ammonia process) and Caramel IV (sulphite ammonia process) in cocoa and chocolate products. The use of carmine is questioned in crackers and other bread-type products, while beta-carotene is questioned in cocoa mixes, some meat and fish products, and dried pasta. Comments are also requested on sulphite use due to concerns about the intake of these compounds and their inclusion levels in jams and jellies, fruit desserts and soups and broths. Intake and technological need information is also requested on polysorbate use in dairy products, breads, crackers and vegetable products. To access a full additive list and the call for comments in CCFA's August 2007 Circular letter, click here​.

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