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FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 52, "Compendium of Food Additive Specifications" (FNP 52) was first published in 1992. It combined all of the food additive specifications prepared by JECFA from its first meeting in 1956 to its thirty-seventh meeting in 1990. A companion publication, FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 5, "Guide to Specifications" (FNP 5) contained the analytical methods, test procedures and laboratory solutions used in and referenced by JECFA food additive specifications. It was first published in 1978 and revised in 1991.

The decision was made to prepare an updated second edition of FNP 52 to include all food additive specifications prepared by JECFA through its sixty-fifth meeting in 2005. It was further decided that an updated and revised version of FNP 5 would not be published separately as before, but would be incorporated into the FNP 52 Compendium second edition. The new Compendium of Food Additive Specifications is therefore now comprised of four volumes. The first three volumes are the food additive specifications themselves in alphabetical order. This fourth volume includes the revised and updated analytical methods, test procedures and laboratory solutions which first appeared in FNP 5, plus newer procedures and an expanded section on laboratory instrumentation.

The review, revision and updating of the material in FNP 5, to prepare Volume 4, was a long and arduous process. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) wishes to acknowledge and thank the following experts who were instrumental in the preparation and finalization of this document: (Listed in alphabetical order)

FAO also wishes to thank Consultant John Weatherwax, USA, who coordinated this effort and who prepared the first three volumes of food additive specifications for publication. Although several JECFA experts were involved in the revision and editing of those first three volumes, FAO wishes to identify and thank two experts in particular, who both provided significant contribution. They are Dr. Chris Fisher and Dr. Brian Whitehouse, both Consultants residing in the United Kingdom.

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