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New EU Guidelines: food manufacturers have to show their colours promptly

07 August 2015

The transition period for the implementation of the European Guidance notes on the classification of food extracts with colouring properties is about to end: after 29 November, all food and drinks available on the European market should comply with the requirements of the new guidelines. For the first time, these define precise criteria for the differentiation between Colouring Foods and colourants.

After 29 November, all products that are used for the colouring of food and beverages but do not comply with the criteria for Colouring Foods will be classified as colourants. They require legal permission and have to be designated by the name of the category “colourant”, followed by their specific name or their E number.

“There is not much time left for food and beverage manufacturers to align their products with the new Guidance Notes. They should check their labelling or even recipes in order to ensure compliance and at the same time meet the demand of their customers for natural ingredients,” says Dr. Hendrik Hoeck, Managing Director of the GNT Group. “With the end of the transition period, consumers finally obtain certainty that ingredients which are labelled as Colouring Foods actually meet their requirements for naturalness to the full extent.”

The Guidance Notes were adopted by the European Commission’s Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health on 29 November 2013. They define exact criteria for the differentiation between Colouring Foods and additive colours and thus close the remaining legislative gap in this area. All products with colouring properties that are manufactured using selective extraction of the raw material’s pigments are to be labelled as additive colours. This also applies when they are made from foods or other edible raw materials.

GNT’s products, which are sold worldwide under the brand name EXBERRY®, meet the requirements for the classification as Colouring Foods. They are obtained exclusively from fruit, vegetables and edible plants by using gentle physical processes such as pressing, chopping or filtering. "With more than 35 years of experience in the production and application of Colouring Foods, the GNT Group can optimally advise and support food and beverage manufacturers in the implementation of the Guidance Notes and the application of Colouring Foods," says Dr. Hendrik Hoeck.


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