working group additives

Tasks and activities of the working group


  • Questions about the quality, approval and use of additives
  • Demarcation issues between food / food supplements / additives / auxiliary agents
  • Opinions on legislative proposals
  • Advice to specialist colleagues on analytical issues; especially regarding the purity requirements of additives
  • Organization and implementation of training events
  • Participation in the development of analytical methods


The working group consists of active and corresponding members who come from official surveillance, trade laboratories, the food industry and research institutions.

Head of the working group


LM-Chem. Brigitte Grothe
Heidegängerweg 36
Tel: 0172 4504787


Dipl.LM.Chem. Julia Schreiner
State investigation institute for the
Health and Veterinary Saxony


Dr. Jeannine stuff
Südzucker AG

Term of office 2020 - 2022

Analytical and food law topics

Analytical topics


  • additives and their analysis (especially with regard to purity requirements)
  • Methods JECFA (FAO / WHO); Section 35 Methods

Food law issues


  • Opinions on regulations governing additives
  • Purity of additives
  • Demarcation issues
  • Admission of additives

Position papers and statements


  • Opinion on the use of plant extracts that are rich in technologically effective ingredients (2020) (pdf )
  • Opinion on wheat stalk fiber ("wheat fiber") (2012) ( pdf )
  • Protective cultures as additives? (2012) ( pdf )
  • Aluminum in food additives and in substances for special nutritional purposes (2008) ( pdf )
  • Application of the Food Hygiene Regulation (852/2004 / EC) to the production of food additives (2005) ( pdf )

Decision tree coloring foods / dyes

When assessing coloring ingredients, the main question is whether such products are coloring foods or additives that require approval. If substances of natural origin, which are foodstuffs, are processed technologically (example: certain ingredients are concentrated by removing superfluous dietary fiber or reducing disturbing ingredients) then the products obtained in this way can also lose the properties of the original food. If the ratio of the ingredients to one another changes during these processes - in addition to concentration due to loss of water or odorous substances - the decision must be made as to whether such products have to be declared as food or additive. The decision tree should enable such products to be classified transparently. The following criteria must be considered for the decision tree:
Origin: There are a large number of starting materials for the production of coloring substances. In the case of substances of natural origin, a decision must be made as to whether they are food in the sense of Art. 2 Regulation (EC) 178/2002 or a food approved in accordance with Regulation (EC) 258/97 (Novel Food Regulation). Products of natural origin that are not foodstuffs and products made from them are to be regarded as additives . If the raw materials are not of natural origin, the products made from them are always additives. Treatment and technology processes: How products derived from food are classified further depends on the processes and technologies with which they are treated: Physically chemical separation processes are, for example:


  • Extraction process with solvents or with water
  • Processes that separate on the basis of the molecular size
  • Reverse osmosis

Concentration through loss of water when exposed to temperature is not included. Without the use of physicochemical separation processes, the product is coloring food. In the case of selective removal or enrichment of one or more substances, it must be checked whether the end product is a traditional ingredient, ie coloring food (concentrate). Extraction: If there is no selective enrichment of coloring ingredients, the resulting product is usually a coloring food. Selective enrichment of coloring ingredients: Do the extraction process or other physicochemical processes lead to a selective enrichment of coloring ingredients and to a shift in the proportions of coloring ingredients to nutritional and flavoring substances compared to the starting material, in which the characteristic features such as smell or taste of the original Foodstuffs have largely been lost and the coloring properties dominate, the product becomes an additive according to Art.

Bibliography and important links



  • Handbook of Food Additives, edited by P. Kuhnert; B. Muermann; UJ. Salzer loose-leaf collection 5 folders, approx. 3500 pages + CD-Rom with all legal texts (German). Behr's Verlag, Hamburg ISBN 978-3-925673-89-4
  • Lexicon of Food Additives, P.Kuhnert; E. Lück 384 pages 3rd edition 2010, Behr's Verlag, Hamburg, ISBN 978-3-89947-533-3 (included in the manual). Also available as an e-book

Interesting links

Codex Alimentarius


Annual report 2020

Annual report 2019

Annual report 2018

Annual report 2017

Annual report 2016

2015 annual report

2014 annual report

2013 annual report

Annual report 2010

Annual report 2009

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last modified: 27.04.2021 10:55 H from rkl