Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Food quality and safety can be ensured only when good manufacturing practices are followed with quality of inputs considered adequate to obtain a high quality end product. National standards exist in some countries specifying what chemicals could be used in foods, their limits and list of foods that can contain the additives. FAO-WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission under the UN system tries to develop international standards which facilitate global trade with out any technical barrier. Food Chemical Codex (FCC), based in the US and published by the US Pharmacopoeial Convention has been compiling standards specifically for chemical additives in foods based on available scientific data and food industries in many countries use it as a reference document for evolving country specific standards.

"The latest FCC edition includes standards covering quality and purity for 1,100 food ingredients. These standards include the ingredient's chemical formula, structure and weight; function and definition; impurity limits; and packaging, storage and labeling information. In addition, FCC Seventh Edition includes validated methods in 11 appendixes with step-by-step guidance to analyze food ingredients and demonstrate their authenticity, quality and purity. These appendixes cover Enzyme Assays, Essential Oils and Flavors, Fats and Related Substances, Carbohydrates, and Flavor Chemicals, among others. New to the seventh edition is a comprehensive section featuring additional information and industry guidance such as general current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) guidelines for food chemicals; a comparison of cGMP elements for foods and drugs; and AOAC International/International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) guidelines on method validation".

Though there could be some confusion regarding multitude of compendiums on food standards, FCC is recognized as most authentic, compiled with scientific evidence and covers many new chemicals with new functions for use by the food industry. Every two years the compendium is updated giving scope to keep in tune with latest developments in the field of chemical additives.


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