Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, UK
(Note: This page is copyright - © D.J.Jukes 2013 - but please see Copyright notice)
Last updated: 11 December, 2013

Food Additives: Archive Material

(compiled by Dr David Jukes)

To go to main Foodlaw-Reading index page, click here.


This page contains material previously provided on the main Food Additive page. Rather than deleting the material it has been transferred here for reference purposes only. The material is not maintained and the links may no longer work.

To go to the current Food Additive page, click here

On this page:
  • Previous EU controls - the Internal Market directives; providing a description and links to the former legislation based on directives
  • UK Law - links to the UK legislation implementing the EU law

The information on this page mainly relates to the period 1998-2008 and is shown in this figure

Previous EU controls - Stage 2 - the Internal Market directives

The Framework Directive

In late 1988 (but published in 1989), the Community adopted a framework directive which set out the criteria by which additives would be assessed and provided for the adoption of more specific technical directives establishing the list of additives which could be used, the foods in which they could be used and any maximum levels. The Directive is:

This Directive requires that all permitted food additives are assessed by the European Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) for their safety against the criteria which are stated in the Annex to the Directive.

The framework Directive has been amended twice by:

A consolidated version of Directive 89/107 can be found on the EU web site at: Framework Directive 89/107 [20 November 2003]

The 1994 amendment (to the framework directive) provided that countries can nominate certain foods which have traditional characteristics and which, in the territory of the Member State, have not been permitted to contain certain additives. If it is subsequently agreed, the Member States concerned can continue to restrict the use of additives in these foods within their territory. This has resulted in the adoption of a Decision providing approved national derogations:

The official text of Decision 292/97/EC can be found on the EU web site at: Decision 292/97/EC. It is however mising the important Annex. However, an unofficial scanned version is available on this web site at: 292/97/EC.

The Specific Directives

The specific Directives were eventually adopted. 3 Directives now provide the requirements for additive legislation within the whole of the European Community. They are:

All 3 of these directives have been amended to change administrative arrangements relating to the committe structure (not shown on the above diagram). For details, see:

In addition, there are amending directives which have amended 2 of the 3 specific Directives. These are:

The text of the Directives are available on the EU web site at:

See also:

Purity Criteria

Specific purity criteria have also been adopted for the additives. These are given in additional Directives. These were initially published in 1995 and 1996:

These have all been republished as updated (codified) documents:

Implementation of EU Directives into UK Legislation

The application of leagl controls based on the previous Directives was implemented into UK law by a series of Regulations.

For the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland), the Directives have been implemented into UK legislation by the following Regulations which came into effect on the 1st January 1996

Separate, but identical, legislation applies to Northern Ireland: