Current Situation of New Food Additive (NFA) in China

Updated on 21 Apr. 2020

On December 31, 2014, GB 2760-2014 Usage of Food Additive was released. Compared with the old version (GB 2760-2011), GB 2760-2014 has included the new food additives that were approved from 2011 to 2014. Meanwhile, the management of nutrition enhancers are now under GB 14880-2012, the declaration and registration of new nutrition enhancers, however, are still managed as new food additive.

More than five years have passed since the publication of the GB 2760-2014, what is the status of the declaration and approval of new food additives during this period? What about the approval status of new nutrition enhancers?

1. Acceptance numbers of NFA in China

From 2014 to April 15, 2020, totally 358 NFA applications have been accepted by National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NHC, former NHFPC).

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Note: The data were collected from NHC.

2. Review and approval numbers of NFA in China

2.1 Food additive

From the releasement of GB 2760-2014 to April 15, 2020, totally 151 NFAs have been approved by NHC, which include 49 new food additives and 102 food additives of which the usage scope or dosage are expanded. From figure 2, it can be found that most of the approvals are related to expanding usage scope or dosage.

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2.2 Nutrition enhancer

GB 14880-2012 Usage of Nutrition Enhancers was officially released on March 15, 2012, and the modification includes all the food nutrition enhancers approved by NHFPC from 1997 to 2012 No. 1 announcement. From the promulgation of GB 14880-2012 to April 15, 2020, 11 new nutrition enhancers like Yeast β-glucan were announced by NHC, and 20 nutrition enhancers such as iron were approved for expanding the scope and usage. The approval status in each year was shown in figure 3.

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3. The requirements and trends on application and approval of NFA in China

On December 26, 2017, NHC issued a Notice on the revised Administrative Measures of New Food Additive. The new regulation clarified that the review organization are responsible for the safety assessment of NFAs, increased the relevant regulations on risk prevention and control, and modified the relevant provisions related to the illegal behaviors in the application. In addition to that, one of the greatest concern was the deletion of the “Verification experiment of new food additive”, which means that when applying for a new food additive, it is no longer mandatory to provide methodological verification materials for those who use non- food safety national testing methods.

At the same time, it can be seen from the official website of CFSA that, the public consultation of food additives have been conducted frequently, which shows that the relevant evaluation work of new food additive registration are carried out smoothly.

CIRS will focus on the regulatory & laws, and approval status of new food additive in China.

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