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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Report of the U.S. Delegate, 41st Session, Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA)

Introduction

The 41st CCFA met in Shanghai, The People's Republic of China March 16 - 20, 2009. The meeting was attended by 56 Member countries, one Member organization, and 25 international organizations. The report of the 41st CCFA (ALINORM 09/32/12) contains requests for comments and information (CL 2009/7-FA), as noted below.

Matters of Interest Arising from FAO/WHO and from the 69th Meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)

The 41st CCFA was informed by the JECFA Secretariat of the recent completion of the ad hoc expert meetings on the benefits-risk assessment of the use of chlorine-containing disinfectants and on the risk assessment of melamine. The JECFA Secretariat also announced an upcoming expert consultation on the use of nanotechnology in the food industry to be held in June 2009.

The JECFA Secretariat reminded the CCFA of the Global Initiative for Food Safety Related Scientific Advice (GIFSA), a trust fund established by the FAO and WHO to facilitate collection of extra-budgetary resources needed to provide scientific advise in response to requests. The JECFA Secretariat encouraged the CCFA delegations to consider supporting this initiative.

Result of Changes in ADI status and Other Toxicological Recommendations

The 41st CCFA agreed to include in the Inventory of Processing Aids (IPA): asparaginase from Aspergillus niger expressed in A. niger and phospholipase C expressed in Pichia pastoris (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 21).

The 41st CCFA agreed to request comments and proposals on uses and use levels of a number of compounds for inclusion in the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA), including calcium lignosulfonate (40-65), ethyl lauroyl arginate, and steviol glycosides (ALINORM 09/32/12, paras. 22, 23, and 27, respectively). The request was issued in CL 2009/7-FA, which directs that comments and proposals should be submitted to the Secretariat of the CCFA before 15 November 2009.

The 41st CCFA agreed to request comments and proposals on use levels of sulfites to review the adopted and draft maximum levels of sulfites in the GSFA. In particular, the Committee encouraged the submission of data on the current use of sulfites in food and beverages and the investigation of whether dietary exposure in some subpopulations exceeds the acceptable daily intake (ADI) (ALINORM 09/32/12, para 28). The request was issued in CL 2009/7-FA, which directs that comments and proposals should be submitted to the Secretariat of the CCFA before 15 November 2009.

The JECFA Secretariat informed the Committee that a temporary, lower ADI for polydimethylsiloxane had been established, pending the results of toxicological studies addressing the issue of ocular toxicity. The 41st CCFA agreed to urge countries, organizations, and individual companies to provide to JECFA data on the uses and levels of polydimethylsiloxane in food and, in particular, data to address the issue of ocular toxicity. The Committee further agreed to consider revision of the provisions for polydimethylsiloxane in light of the JECFA re-evaluation if necessary (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 26).

Endorsement and/or Revision of Maximum Levels for Food Additives and Processing Aids in Codex Standards

The 41st CCFA endorsed all revised food additive provisions in the Codex Standards for Fats and Oils as proposed (Codex Stan 256-2003, Codex Stan 210-1999, Codex Stan 19-1981, Codex Stan 211-1999, and Codex Stan 33-1981) as proposed (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 56).

The 41st CCFA endorsed the majority of food additive provisions in the following draft and revised standards, with some revisions for consistency with (1) the maximum level for corresponding food categories of the GSFA (Codex STAN 192-1995), (2) numerical ADIs established by JECFA, and (3) the Codex Guideline on Class Names and the International Numbering System for Food Additives (CAC/GL 36-1989):

  • Draft Standard for Jams, Jellies, and Marmalades
  • Draft Standard for Certain Canned Vegetables and for the Proposed Draft Annex on Sweet Corn
  • Proposed Draft Regional Standard for Fermented Soybean Paste
  • Revised Advisory List of Nutrient Compounds of for Use in Foods for Special Dietary Use by Infants and Young Children (CAC/GL 10-1979)

The specific endorsements and revisions are indicated in Appendix III, and summarized in paragraphs 34 - 52, of ALINORM 09/32/12.

The 41st CCFA endorsed the Proposed Draft Regional Standard for Edible Sago Flour, subject clarification of applicability of food category 06.2.1 (Flours) to sago flour. The Committee also endorsed the provisions for flour treatment agents as proposed, with the exception of chlorine dioxide and with one editorial revision for consistency with the Codex Guideline on Class Names and the International Numbering System for Food Additives (CAC/GL 36-1989). The Committee noted that, as proposed, the provision for chlorine dioxide exceeded the treatment level recommended for flour and for flour for special purposes in the GSFA. The Committee agreed to reconsider the level for chlorine dioxide and to advise CCASIA accordingly (ALINORM 09/21/12 paras. 53 - 55).

Proposed Draft and Draft Revisions to Tables 1 and 2 of the Codex General Standard for Food Additives

The 41st CCFA forwarded for adoption at Step 8 or 5/8 approximately 440 provisions for the use of the following additives: allura red AC, ammonium salts of phosphatidic acid, ascorbyl esters, aspartame, aspartame-acesulfame salt, brilliant blue FCF, caramel III, caramel IV, carmines, beta-carotenes (vegetable), carotenoids, chlorophylls and chlorophyllins, erythrosine, fast green FCF, grape skin extract, para-hydroxybenzoates, indigotine, iron oxides, nisin, phosphates, sorbates, stearoyl lactylates, sucroglycerides, sunset yellow FCF, and tocopherols (ALINORM 09/32/12, Appendix IV).

The 41st CCFA agreed to recommend revocation of 27 provisions for the use of the following food additives: caramel III, caramel IV, and fast green FCF (ALINORM 09/32/12, Appendix V).

The 41st CCFA agreed to discontinue further consideration of approximately 81 food additive provisions for the use of the following additives: acesulfame potassium, alitame, allura red AC, aluminium ammonium sulfate, aluminium silicate, annatto extracts (norbixin-based), brilliant blue FCF, calcium aluminium silicate, caramel III, caramel IV, beta-carotenes (vegetable), carotenoids, chlorophylls and chlorophyllins, fast green FCF, para-hydroxybenzoates, indigotine, lycopenes, phosphates, ponceau 4R, saccharins, sodium aluminium phosphates, sodium aluminosilicate, sorbates, sucroglycerides, sunset yellow FCF and tartrates (ALINORM 09/32/12, Appendix VI).

The 41st CCFA agreed to recommend a number of food additive provisions for inclusion at Step 3 for food categories revised by the 40th CCFA, including food category 02.2.2 (Fat spreads, diary fat spreads and blended spreads), subcategories of 06.8 (Soybean products (excluding soybean-based seasonings and condiments of food category 12.9)), subcategories of 12.9 (Soybean-based seasonings and condiments), and food category 12.10 (Protein products other than from soybeans) (ALINORM 09/32/12, paras. 72 - 84).

Proposed Draft and Draft Revisions to Table 3 of the Codex General Standard for Food Additives

The 41st CCFA agreed to forward for adoption at Step 5/8 magnesium sulfate and pullulan in Table 3 of the GSFA. It also agreed to include at Step 3 proposals for the additional use of magnesium sulfate in the following food categories listed in the Annex to Table 3: 12.1.2 (Salt substitutes), 14.1.1.2 (Table waters and soda waters), 14.1.2.2 (Vegetable juices) and 14.1.2.4 (Concentrates for vegetable juice) (ALINORM 09/32/12 para. 60).

The 41st CCFA agreed to amend the footnote in the Annex to Table 3 of the GSFA for consistency with the food additive provisions in the Standard for Fermented Milks (CODEX STAN 243-2003) to align with the functional classes accepted for use in "fermented milks, heat treated after fermentation" (i.e., acidity regulators, packaging gases, stabilizers and thickeners) (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 9).

Other Business Related to the Revision of the General Standard for Food Additives

Aluminium-containing food additives 
The Committee agreed to request clarification on the reporting basis of all provisions — both adopted and in the Step process — for aluminium containing food additives (i.e., sodium aluminium phosphates (acidic and basic), aluminium ammonium sulfate, sodium aluminium silicate, calcium aluminium silicate, and aluminium silicate). All provisions for which information was not provided to the 42nd CCFA would either be revoked or discontinued, respectively (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 66). The request was issued in CL 2009/7-FA, which directs that comments and proposals should be submitted to the Secretariat of the CCFA before 15 November 2009.

Colours 
The 41st CCFA agreed to request information on the technological justification for the use of colours in general, added to foods falling under the scope of food category 08.1 (Fresh meat, poultry, and games) and its subcategories (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 149). The Committee also agreed to request information on the technical justification for the use of specific colors in certain categories, including the use of: fast green FCF in food category 06.4.2 (Dried pastas and noodles and like products) and erythrosine in food categories 08.2 (Processed meat, poultry, and game products in whole pieces and cuts) and 08.3 (Processed comminuted meat, poultry, and game products) (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 99, 103). The request was issued in CL 2009/7-FA, which directs that comments and proposals should be submitted to the Secretariat of the CCFA before 15 November 2009.

Food Categories 
The 41st CCFA agreed to the proposals for revising the names and descriptors of food categories 01.2.1.1 (Fermented milks (plain), not heat-treated after fermentation), 15.1 (Snacks — potato, cereal, flour or starch based (from roots and tubers, pulses and legumes)), and 15.2 (Processed nuts, including coated nuts and mixtures (with e.g., dried fruit)) (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 153 and Appendix XI).

The Committee agreed to request comments on the revision of the name and descriptor of food category 16.0 (Composite foods — foods that could not be placed in categories 01 - 15) (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 147). The request was issued in CL 2009/7-FA, which directs that comments should be submitted to the Secretariat of the CCFA before 15 November 2009.

The Committee agreed to request comments on the project document proposing new work on the revision of food category 05.1 (Cocoa products and chocolate products) (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 151 and Appendix X). The request was issued in CL 2009/7-FA, which directs that comments should be submitted to the Secretariat of the CCFA before 15 November 2009.

Notes to the GSFA 
The 41st CCFA agreed to request comments on the application of Note 161 Subject to national legislation of the importing country aimed, in particular, at consistency with Section 3.2 of the Preamble, in particular, where and when it should be used (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 89). The request was issued in CL 2009/7-FA, which directs that comments should be submitted to the Secretariat of the CCFA before 15 November 2009.

Future Work 
The 41st CCFA did not re-establish its electronic Working Group (eWG) on the GSFA. The 41st CCFA agreed to establish a physical Working Group on the GSFA, chaired by the United States of America, to facilitate consideration of food additive provisions of the GSFA (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 107).

The 41st CCFA agreed to request that the United States of America prepare a document compiling all outstanding food additive provisions from the two previous eWGs (CX FA 08/40/5 Part 2; CX FA 09/41/6), along with written comments providing information on the technological justification or safety of use of these food additives provisions (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 106).

The 41st CCFA further agreed to issue a request for comments and innovative proposals to expedite its work on the GSFA and to request the Codex Secretariat to prepare a consolidated document based on these proposals for consideration during the next CCFA (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 108). The request for comments and proposals was issued in CL 2009/7-FA, which instructs that these should be submitted to the Secretary of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, before 15 July 2009.

Processing Aids

Due to unresolved issues and constraints in time, the 41st CCFA did not discuss the Proposed Draft Guidelines for Substances Used as Processing Aids (N14-2008) prepared by an eWG led by Indonesia, but rather agreed to consider further revision at its next session. The Committee re-established the eWG, to be led by Indonesia, to revise the proposed draft (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 113).

The Committee also accepted the offer of New Zealand to prepare and updated version of the Inventory of Processing Aids for the next session (ALINORM 09/32/12, para. 114).

Codex International Numbering System (INS) for Food Additives

The 41st CCFA agreed:

  • to assign INS numbers to rosemary extract (INS 392), glycerol diacetate (INS 1517), benzyl alcohol (INS 1519), and calcium lignosulfonate (INS 1522);
  • to delete the INS entry for potassium cyclamate (INS 952(ii)) as it has not been reviewed by JECFA;
  • to revise the INS numbers assigned to sodium sulfate (514); and
  • to change the names of 44 food additives and the technological purposes (by addition and/or deletion of one or more technological effects) of 15 food additives.

The proposed draft amendments (ALINORM 09/32/12, Appendix VII) will be forwarded to the 32nd Session of the Commission for adoption at Step 5/8.

The 41st CCFA agreed to circulate for comments a list of principles for proposals to change the INS (ALINORM 09/32/12, CRD 3 - Recommendation 5). The Committee established an eWG, to be led by Finland, to prepare a discussion paper based on comments received regarding the need for justification for proposals to change the INS. The Committee further agreed that the eWG would consider the outstanding proposals for changes/additions to the INS list and to prepared a proposal for circulation for comments (ALINORM 09/32/12, paras. 123 - 124).

Specifications for the Identity and Purity of Food Additives Arising from the 69th JECFA

The 41st CCFA forwarded 20 food additive specifications (new and revised) and 105 flavouring agents to the 32nd Session of the Commission for adoption at Step 5/8 (ALINORM 09/32/12, Appendix VIII).

Priority List of Food Additives, Contaminants and Naturally Occurring Toxicants Recommended to Evaluation by JECFA

The following substances were identified as priorities for JECFA evaluation (ALINORM 09/32/12, Appendix IX):

  • Flavourings (315 in total)
  • Pullulan
  • Pullulanase
  • Steviol glycosides (for revision of specifications)
  • Sucrose esters of fatty acids (for revision of specifications)
  • Aluminium compounds (ammonium sulfate, lactate and sulfate)
  • Aluminium phosphates

Discussion Paper on the Identification of Problems and Recommendations Related to the Inconsistent Presentation of Food Additives Provision in Codex Commodity Standards

The 41st CCFA agreed to establish an eWG, to be led by Switzerland, to prepare a revised discussion paper for comments and consideration by the 42nd CCFA (ALINORM 09/32/12, para 156).

Next Session

The 42nd Session of the CCFA in tentatively scheduled to be held in China, from March 15 to 19, 2010.

Last Modified Sep 09, 2013