Food safety and quality

Experts convene for the 92nd meeting to provide guidance on food additives


Technical experts from different parts of the world met virtually for the 92nd meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) on 7-18 June 2021. Various food additives (flavouring agents and enzyme preparations) were evaluated for their safety and recommendations were made for the work of future JECFA meetings.

Food additives are substances that are added to food to maintain or improve its safety, taste, texture, freshness, or appearance. They can be derived from plants, animals or minerals or they can be synthesized chemically. Based on their functions food additives are classified into many categories, some examples are: flavouring agents, enzyme preparations, preservatives and sweeteners.

Food additives have to be evaluated for any potential impacts on human health before they are approved. The Codex Alimentarius Commission establishes maximum use levels of food additives once they have been evaluated and deemed safe by JECFA. This is an important step to determine if food additives can used in foods traded internationally.

To find out more about which food additives were evaluated, how they were evaluated and what conclusions were reached, read the summary report from the meeting here.

Read more about JECFA and the Scientific Advice Programme at FAO.

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