NATCOL is happy to announce that, building on its comprehensive experience, it has developed a Code of Practice to provide support to manufacturers and users in understanding the EU provisions that govern Colouring Foods as well as their scope and application. The Code of Practice is intended as a business to business support tool for food industry producers and users of Colouring Foods on the European market. It must be read in conjunction with the EU and national appropriate legislations, particularly Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on food additives, especially Recital 5, Article 3 (2) (a) and Annex I (2) of this Regulation.

The Code reflects the experience of NATCOL’s members and prevailing principles relating to the classification, manufacturing, use and labelling of Colouring Foods. It is also inspired by the principles laid out in the European Commission Guidance Notes on the classification of food extracts with colouring properties of 2013.

This Code is based on the relevant EU regulatory framework and describes the following:

  • Principles of the classification, source materials, manufacturing, quality and safety of Colouring Foods.
  • Considerations for the use of Colouring Foods in food and drink applications.
  • Labelling of Colouring Foods both for Business to Business (B2B) supply, including documentation requirements in Annex B, and in finished products, with examples for the labelling on the ingredients list.
  • Updated “NATCOL source Reference Values (2021)” that are commonly relied upon by the industry included in Annex A of this Code.
  • Decision tree on how to distinguish between a Colouring Food and a Colour Additive in Annex C of this Code.

NATCOL believes that an active use of the Code of Practice will provide clarity and a common understanding for all stakeholders and contribute to maintaining consumer trust and variety of choice.

Code of Practice