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Food additives
Manner of declaring in the list of ingredients

As indicated in the section on manner of declaring ingredients, food additives must be declared by an acceptable common name in the list of ingredients of a prepackaged product. However, as per B.01.008.2(4)(d) of the FDR, they may be listed at the end of the list of ingredients in any order.

For all requirements and information related to the list of ingredients, refer to the List of ingredients and allergens page.

Use of optional class names

The FDR allows for the use of collective/class names to classify a group of similar food additives in the list of ingredients, without having to list each ingredient individually.

For example, any combination of disodium phosphate, monosodium phosphate, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate and sodium acid pyrophosphate can be listed as "sodium phosphate" or "sodium phosphates" as shown under item 8 of the table to B.01.010(3)(b) of the FDR.

Similarly, when potassium bisulphite, potassium metabisulphite, sodium bisulphite, sodium metabisulphite, sodium sulphite, sodium dithionite, sulphur dioxide and/or sulphurous acid are used together as preservatives, they can be listed as "sulphiting agents", "sulfiting agents", "sulphites" or "sulfites" as shown under item 21 of the table to B.01.010(3)(b) of the FDR.

Note: Sulphites have been identified as one of the priority allergens in Canada. Please refer to the Food allergens, gluten and added sulphite declaration section regarding the regulatory requirements for declaration of sulphites in the list of ingredients.

Components of preparations

When food additives are used in preparations or mixtures and have a function or effect on the food, they are required to be declared in the list of ingredient as if they were ingredients.

For example, brominated vegetable oil and sucrose acetate isobutyrate are additives that are permitted solely in flavours for use in citrus-flavoured and spruce-flavoured beverages, and their maximum level of use is based on their concentration in the beverage as consumed. These additives are density adjusting agents and will have an effect on the final beverage. As these additives keep the flavour preparation in suspension and prevent the formation of an oil ring at the surface of the beverage, they must be declared in the list of ingredients as ingredients are declared (i.e. in the order of their proportion of the product) [B.01.009(3)(f), FDR].

Use of synonyms

For food additives, the names in Health Canada's lists of permitted food additives are always acceptable common names. In some cases, there are also permitted synonyms. Synonyms acceptable for use as common names for food additives may include names used by the international Codex Alimentarius Commission, names accepted by other regulatory authorities, names in specifications for food additives established by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), or names in food additive monographs published in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC). Acceptable names can also include the name(s) by which the food additive is generally known in Canada.

Some alternate common names to the ones listed in Health Canada's lists of permitted food additives are recognized for use in the lists of ingredients of foods sold in Canada. The CFIA reviews and assesses synonyms for use as common names in the list of ingredients. Acceptable alternate common names are listed in the Permitted synonyms for food additives table.

The Codex Alimentarius International Numbering System (INS) for food additives or the numbering system used by the European Union (e.g., E 102) are not acceptable alone as the common name declaration for the food additive in Canada. They may be declared as supplementary information, when the food additive is already declared in the list of ingredients by its required common name or acceptable synonym.

Use of abbreviations

In some cases the use of abbreviations for food additives may be acceptable common names in the list of ingredients. For example, TBHQ is an acceptable synonym for tertiary butylhydroquinone. Acceptable abbreviations are also listed in the Permitted synonyms for food additives table.

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