EFSA updates requirements for enzyme application in food industry

EUROPE – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has developed an updated scientific guidance to assist applicants in the preparation of applications for food enzymes, following a request by the European Commission. In May 2020 the European Commission mandated EFSA to update the scientific part of the guidance document with a deadline of 18 months. The new guidance took a bit less than 18 months to develop, fulfilling the set timeline. The new document, takes into consideration recent scientific developments in various areas of risk assessment of food enzymes. In…

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European Union outlaws use of carcinogenic food additive titanium dioxide in food

EUROPE – European Union member states have unanimously agreed to ban a widely used coloring additive for food, known as the artificial coloring E171 on labels, after finding that its carcinogenic effects cannot be ruled out. Titanium dioxide, or E171 – used to whiten and brighten products like cake icing, sweets, white sauces, medicine and cosmetics – was found to contain titanium dioxide nanoparticles. The particles have the potential to cause DNA damage, according to research conducted by the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA). The EFSA’s conclusion, based on…

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Experts develop sensor to enable detection of minute traces of pathogens, pesticides in fresh produce

EUROPE – Experts from across Europe are developing a sensor to spot minute traces of pesticides or bacteria in fruits and vegetables, a project christened, ‘GRACED’, at the Cyprus Research and Innovation Centre (CyRIC). CyRIC is a research  and innovation center developing disruptive products for the world markets and providing unique, high quality services to the industry. The detector, termed plasmo-photonic bimodal multiplexing sensor, uses light particles to detect chemical or biological analytes, delivering results in about 30 minutes, 50 to 100 times quicker than existing technologies. It can spot…

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European Commission reviews regulations on cereal-based mycotoxin limits

EUROPE – The European Commission (EC) has amended regulations for sclerotia and ergot alkaloids in food products such as barley, wheat, spelt, rye and oats and processed cereal-based food for infants and young children, where they are predominant. Ergot is the broad term used to describe the infection and toxins produced by the fungus Claviceps purpurea, which infects cereal grains. Ergot is most common in rye and triticale, a hybrid of rye and wheat, and it occasionally infects wheat and barley, but rarely oats. Grasses can also be infected and…

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EFSA, ECHA kick off parallel consultations on glyphosate evaluations

EUROPE – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have started parallel consultations on the initial scientific evaluations of glyphosate. In the parallel consultations, EFSA will gather feedback on the renewal assessment report on glyphosate while ECHA’s consultation is on the harmonized classification and labelling report. The initial scientific evaluations put out for consultation were both prepared by the Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG), which comprises national competent authorities in France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden. Glyphosate is a chemical that is widely used in…

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EU sets new tolerable levels for heavy metals in food

EUROPE – The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, enforcing EU laws and directing the union’s administrative operations, is setting new maximum levels for cadmium and lead tolerable in a wide range of food products, to further reduce the presence of  carcinogenic contaminants in food and to make healthy food more accessible. Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal present in the environment, both naturally and as a result of agricultural and industrial activities. The European Union (EU)highlights that the main source of cadmium…

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European Commission launches EU protocols for food businesses

EUROPE – The European Commission, alongside industry stakeholders has officially launched the EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices under the Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy. On 26 January 2021, the Commission facilitated discussions amongst a wide variety of stakeholders in the food sector to design an EU Code of Conduct on responsible business and marketing practices as one of the first initiatives to be delivered under the Farm to Fork Strategy. The Farm to Fork Strategy is an integral part of the European Green Deal.…

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