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This volume contains specifications of identity and purity prepared at the forty-ninth meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), held in Rome, 17-26 June 1997. These specifications should be considered only in conjunction with the Report of the above meeting which will be printed in the WHO Technical Report Series. Toxicological monographs of the substances considered at the 49th meeting of JECFA will be published in the WHO Food Additives Series as No. 40.

The general principles applied in the elaboration of specifications established at the earlier JECFA sessions have been published in the Principles for the Safety Assessment of Food Additives and Contaminants in Food, WHO Environmental Health Criteria, No. 70, 1987. The specifications of identity and purity of food additives established by JECFA are meant to identify the substance that has been subject to biological testing, to ensure that the substance is of adequate degree of purity for safe use in food, and to reflect and encourage good manufacturing practices. These principles were last reaffirmed by the 39th session of JECFA in 1992.

The specifications are mainly established for the use of toxicologists and others concerned with the identity and purity of the substance. As agreed by JECFA at its twenty-sixth meeting, specifications may also be established prior to the eventual completion of toxicological evaluation, in certain cases, when the available toxicological data are inadequate or incomplete, and do not permit the establishment of full or temporary acceptable daily intakes (ADIs). References are made in individual specifications to some of the criteria that may be of interest in commerce, but they do not necessarily include all the requirements of interest to the commercial user. These specifications are not more stringent than is necessary to accomplish their purpose and should easily be attainable by the producing industries. The report of the twenty-third session gives the reasons why certain specifications are designated as "tentative".

There were a total of 204 specifications prepared at the 49th session of which 158 were new. Thirty-four specifications were designated as tentative. Specifications for anoxomer were withdrawn because the substance is no longer a product of commerce. Specifications for turmeric were withdrawn, because the Committee considered the substance as food. Specifications for enzyme-treated starches were included in the revised specifications for modified starches.

Comments and suggestions regarding this Volume are encouraged. Please send to Chief, Food Quality and Standards Service, Food and Nutrition Division, FAO, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.

NOTE: Use of italics in specifications refers to General Methods (Guide to JECFA Specifications), FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 5/Rev. 2 (1991), unless otherwise indicated or evident.

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