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Guidance on Food Additives

Thursday, 24 December 2015

This guidance document provides an overview of the European Union and National legislation related to additives in food, together with guidance on its interpretation.

Food additives are substances added intentionally to foodstuffs to perform certain technological functions, for example to colour, to sweeten, to preserve.

This guidance is aimed at the food industry and at food law enforcement officers. It seeks to clarify issues surrounding food additives including their function, their use, possible implications for health and the legislation by which they are regulated.


Information is provided in this guidance on


(a) food additive usage in foods on the Irish market recorded as part of the National Adult Nutrition Survey


(b) the outcome of a survey by Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance on the intake by Irish children and teenagers of certain food colours reported by McCann et al., 2007 (the so-called Southampton study) to be associated with hyperactivity,


(c) an analysis of the intake of nitrates, nitrites and sulphites by the Irish adult population.