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What is Food Additive?

They are substances that are not consumed as food alone. They are not the characteristic ingredient of food. They may be nutritive, but the reasons for their use are not their nutritive value". For example: E 300 is Ascorbic acid. Chemically Ascorbic acid is Vitamin C. However, when used as an additive, as an antioxidant in a foodstuff (to prevent browning) or to balancing sourness (as an acidity regulator), it is no longer a nutrient. In this case as an additive on the label is indicated by the chemical name or E number.

What is Processing Aids?

The intended use of processing aids is quite similar to the food additivess. For this reason, the two terms are often confused. Process aids are substances added to foodstuffs for technological purposes, just like food additives. They are used during the processing of raw material, food or food ingredients. The most important difference from food additives is that they are not intended to be present by their own or as their derivatives in the final product. They perform their duties at any stage of the process and they do not have a technological effect in the final product.

However, in general, they technically remain in the product . They do not pose a health risk.

They are also substances that are not consumed as food alone. They are not characteristic ingredient of food. Their difference from food additives is that they have no technological effect on the final product.

The antifoaming agentsused in jam production are a good example of this group.

The processing aids do not need to be indicated on the label of the food. However, it is necessary to carefully consider whether a chemical substance is a food additive or a processing aid while editing the list of ingredients of food on the label.

What's E Number?

E number is the code indicating the suitability of food additives for food use. It contains the first letter of the word "Europe”. E is an indication that a food additive has passed international safety assessments and is being used within the rules.

The numbers written next to E code show colorants if between 100 and 200, preservatives if between 200 and 300.

CLICK HERE for a full list of legal additive substances for use.

What are the legal regulations that determine the Terms of Use of Food Additives?

As it is known, the food business operators are responsible for the production of foodstuffs in accordance with legal regulations and food safety criteria. This responsibility has been given to the food business operators by Law No. 5996. For this reason, food business must know what legal arrangements they are working on and carry out their enterprises in this frame. There are a number of regulations and communiqués listed below which determine the rules for the use of food additives. All of these regulations can be found in the "legislation" section of the official website of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock / Food Control General Directorate, http://www.tarim.gov.tr/GKGM or under the heading of Prime Ministry Legislation Development and Publication General Directorate, //www.mevzuat.gov.tr/ page.

• Turkish Food Codex Regulation on Food Additives (30.06.2013) and ıts amendments
• Turkish Food Codex Regulation on specifications for food additives
• Turkish Food Codex Communiqué on Extraction Solvents Used in the Production of Food and Food Ingredients (18.08.2013)

Which substances are Not Food Additives?

Majority of people believe that many substances such as milk powder, milk protein, salt, starch-based sugar, fructose / glucose mixture, chewing gum bases are additives, but they are not additives however these are foodstuffs themselves.

Food business operators should first check whether the substance used is within the scope of the additive substance, and if yes, the additive substance should be used according to the additive substances regulations.

To give a few examples of food, that is commonly thought of as an additive: We can mention milk powder. It’s a product that ismade by removing the water from milk. That is to say, it is the milk itself.

Likewise, starch-based sugars are also sugar, as the name shows. It is not food additive.

These inputs, which are not food additives, are food ingredients and should be included accordingly on the label. Click to find the list of items not covered by the food additive.

Under Which Conditions and Why Are Thee Food Additives Used?

Food additives;

They are used if there is a technological necessity which cannot be achieved by another method. For this reason, the use of an additive in one product may be legal for technological reasons, while its use in another product may be restricted for technological reasons. To give an example: while an anti-caking agent is legally used in dry-powdered foods because of their caking problem, it cannot be used in a liquid product or cooked product, becuse they do not have this kind of problem.

Use the food additives permitted for your product by the relevant legislation!



Food additives are used if they do not pose a health risk in terms of consumer health , according to existing scientific evidence. Do not use food additives that you do not know what is in them, when there are missing documents, or when they are not exist in the Food Additives Regulation!

Food additives are used if there is no other economically and technologically feasible method to satisfy the need.

Most importantly, food additives are used if they do not change the nature, content or quality of food to mislead the consumer. They cannot be used to mask the use of defective raw materials or for example the effects of non-hygienic practices and methods.

It is forbidden to use food additives for the purposes of misleading. Use food additives in accordance with the rules!

While the amount used of some of the food additives are limited in a product; for other group the decision on how much of the food additive remains in the product is left to the producer (QS - Unspecified quantity). In both cases, the level of use shall be set at the lowest level necessary to achieve the desired technological effect. In other words, the same principle is applied for the unspecified level, as it is possible to use the additive material in much less amount than the maximum level for a limited use additive.



In addition, all food additives must meet the specified purity criteria. Chemicals used as food additive are also used in different sectors. However, since these additives are not expected to be added to the food, they are not food grade.

Do not use food additives that do not meet purity criteria in your products!


In order to use a food additive, it must meet all the above conditions.

How are the Safety Activities of Food Additives Made? What is ADI?

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) evaluate additives used in foods in order to ensure that the short and long term effects are continuously monitored by considering the changing and developing scientific data and techniques.As a result of these evaluations, it is allowed or not allowed to be used considering acceptable intake and human health. These assessments are being re-established not only for new additives to be searched, but also for those who are still in use, at certain time intervals or when needed

Our country is a member of both WHO and FAO and candidate country for the European Union. For this reason, WHO and FAO, as well as EFSA's assessments, have to be considered in the rules developed in our country.

The Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is defined as an estimate of the amount of a food additive, expressed on a bodyweight basis that can be ingested on a daily basis over a lifetime without appreciable risk to health

Considering ADI and daily consumption of the food, the maximum level determined for each food and each additive.

Are The Food Additives Which are Not Used in EU or Developed Countries Used in Our Country?

Not only the rules governing food additives, but the rules governing food safety in general are in harmony with FAO / WHO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization / World Health Organization) and EU (European Union) in our Country. The scientific basis is the same. It is not possible that the rules are incompatible and contradictory in the century that international food trade is so widespread

All food additives used in our country are approved additives used in EU Countries and in USA.

All the statements made in opposition to this, are misleading and far from reality.

How Can We Use Food Additives and in Which Products?

In order to prevent making a mistake about the use of food additives, the provisions of the legislation are given both on food items and on additives. Applications should be based on these two data.

Regulation of Food Additives;

Annex II of Regulation included all the list and rules for the use of additives in foods.

Annex III of Regulation; includes food additives may be used in food enzymes, flavorings and additives. Mostly, the producers of such as additives, enzymes and aromatizers are interested in this annex.

Annex IV of Regulation; includes rules on food additives that can be used in traditional foods of EU countries.

Annex V of Regulation; includes warnings to be written on the label about some colorants.

Annex VI of Regulation; includes the rules for food additives which may be used in the traditional foods of our country. Businesses that produce traditional products such as sausage, pita, and molasses should definitely examine this annex to understand if they can or cannot use a food additive

In Annex II Part A, Table 1 and Table 2 contain restriction of food additives and colorants use.

Be careful not to make unlawful actions in foodstuffs where is not allowed to use additives and colorants!


Annex II Section B lists all food additives that may be used in the food.

ANNEX II, Section B, Food additives not included in this section cannot be used in food!



Part C of Annex II contains groups of additives.

These groups are crucial for food businesses that use additives in their production to not exceed the maximum levels.

To understand which food additive can be used, it is necessary to look at the food categories. These categories are also included in Part D of Annex II

After all these preliminary information, Annex II Part E contains food additives and conditions of use permitted for use in these food categories.

REGULATORY ANNEXES SHOULD BE EXIMENED TO UNDERSTAND IF ADDITIVES CAN BE USED OR NOT OR IF THEY ARE IN THE USAGE LIMITS FOR THE FOOD YOU ARE PLANNİNG TO USE!

FOR THE FOOD PRODUCTS WHICH HAS THE PRODUCT SPESIFIC COMMUNIQUE IT SHOULD BE ALWAYS CHECKED IF THEY HAVE ADDITIONAL RULES OR NOT!

How are the food additives in the food indicate on the label?

The food additives on the label are included in the list of ingredients. The E number (e.g. E 330, E 160) or name (such as sodium metabisulphite, BHA) of food additives is mentioned in the list following the intended use (antioxidant, stabilizer, etc.).

For example: Acidity regulator acetic acid or acidity regulator E 300, etc.

There are warning provisions on the labels of food containing certain food additives. To give a few examples;

The label of foods containing Sunset yellow (E 110), quinoline yellow (E 104), carmoisine (E 122), allura red (E 129), tartrazine (E 102) and ponso 4R (E124) should have a statement like “It may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

If the product contains aspartame / aspartame-acesulfame salt and these additives are listed on the ingredients list with only the E code, the phrase "contains aspartame (phenylalanine source)” should be written.

Food labels containing more than 10% added polyols should include the phrase " excessive consumption may induce laxative effects "

Information Present on the Label of Food Additives Intended for Sale Directly to the Final consumer

Information on the label of food additives that are sold directly to the final consumer should include the following items in addition to the mandatory label information:

The name and E-number of each food additive in this regulation or a sales description which includes the name and E-number of each food additive,

The statement" for food " or "restircted use in food " or a more specific expression that informs about the intended use of the additives

The name of the source from which the food additive is obtained,

The name of animal species from which food additive is derived.