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Study of the Potential Use of Unapproved Substances as Food Additives in Foods on the UK Market

Laboratory of the Government Chemist, UK
Start date
End date
The aim of this project is to identify possible areas of use of unapproved substances (which could perform an additive function) and to prioritise them with regard to risk to human health. Recent examples of unapproved substance use are Sudan dyes to colour spices.

The main objectives of this project are to:

  • Identify and shortlist potential unapproved substances which could be used as an alternative to permitted additives.
  • Identify and shortlist which foods could potentially contain these unapproved substances.
  • Assess the likelihood of unapproved substances being used.
  • Assess the toxicity of the shortlisted substances and highlight potential risk from consumption.
  • Assess whether analytical methods are available to test for the unapproved substances.
Information will be gathered from discussions with Industry, analytical laboratories (including some in non-EU countries) and from literature searches.
More information
Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.
Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
Natural Toxins