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Codex Food Additives Committee meeting in Macao, China


This committee establishes or endorses permitted maximum levels for individual food additives. A food additive in Codex is defined as "any substance not normally consumed as a food by itself and not normally used as a typical ingredient of the food".

Adding food and colour ingredients

Additives can be added during the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of a food for technological purposes.  This could be for example to colour, to sweeten or to help preserve the food. In the EU food additives are shown on food labels with the symbol "E" and other countries have their own systems.

Codex food additives database

Codex lists all the food additives evaluated in the Codex Alimentarius General Standard for Food Additives. A data base of food additives is available on the JECFA website at FAO.

49th Session held in Macau

Improving collaboration between mainland China and Macau SAR on food safety.

St Pauls Macau

The ruins of St Pauls, a 17th-century complex in Santo António, Macau, China

Speaking ahead of the meeting starting on Monday 20th March, Chairperson Dr Junshi Chen, Professor of the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment underlined the important work of the Food Additives Committee and looked forward to the number of "provisions of the General Standard that will be agreed this week and submitted for adoption by the Commission".


Vice Chair Dr Yongxiang Fan noted the efforts the Committee would be making to "prioritise its workload to fulfill the expectations of member countries". He also said he was "looking forward to a very productive discussion to ensure we continue to work at maxiumum efficiency."

A discussion paper on the use of food additives in the production of wine will be presented in Macau. Dr Yongxiang Fan said that "food additives used in grape wine have been discussed for several years. We hope this year some good solutions can be proposed and agreed by the Committee."

For full agenda details go to the CCFA49 webpage.