A history is presented, including comprehensive tables, of EC legislation controlling the use of 65 substances used as food colours in EC countries since 1962. EC countries vary in their permitted conditions of use – the need for a more consistant approach is discussed. The relevance and benefits of the proposed consolidated EC directive are outlined with particular reference to the present problems of regulating those foodstuffs which are also used as sources of natural colours and of quantitatively expressing the pigment content of such natural extracts.
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