Food additatives. Use, intake and safety

  • Nils-Gunnar Ilbäck
  • Leif Busk


Today we have about 300 approved food additives on the European market and all of them have been evaluated for safety by the European Commission's expert advisory body - the Scientific Committee for Food (SCF). There are fundamental requirements for approval of a food additive. The additive has to be of value for the consumer or necessary for the handling and distribution of the food. In addition, it has to be toxicologically acceptable according to European Community regulatory requirements. For most additives, a numerical (mg/kg bw/day) ADI-value (Acceptable Daily Intake) has been determined that shows how much it is possible to consume each day during a life time without any appreciable risk of adverse effects. If no adverse effects have been demonstrated in the safety evaluation no numerical value for the AD1 is specified and the additive may be used according to the principles of Good Manufacturing Practice (quantum satis), i.e. the minimum amount necessary to produce the desired effects. When the intake of certain food additives can be assumed to be high in relation to the ADI, this should always trigger additional consideration and action. For such food additives it is important that continuous monitoring of use and intake is performed, that potentially sensitive groups and/or individuals are identified and that intake calculations are performed to ensure that the AD1 is not exceeded. Key words: Consumption, food additives, intake, regulatory requirements, safety assessment


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How to Cite
Ilbäck N.-G., & Busk L. (2000). Food additatives. Use, intake and safety. Food & Nutrition Research, 141-149.

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