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Food and Nutrition

Lists of Permitted Food Additives

The Lists of permitted food additives are Health Canada's official repository of substances that are permitted for use as additives in or on foods marketed in Canada.

Join Health Canada's Food Additives e-Notice, a free service to stay on top of issued advice as well as regulatory and scientific developments in the area of food additives in Canada.

Lists

  1. List of Permitted Anticaking Agents
  2. List of Permitted Bleaching, Maturing or Dough Conditioning Agents
  3. List of Permitted Colouring Agents
  4. List of Permitted Emulsifying, Gelling, Stabilizing or Thickening Agents
  5. List of Permitted Food Enzymes
  6. List of Permitted Firming Agents
  7. List of Permitted Glazing or Polishing Agents
  8. List of Permitted Food Additives with Other Generally Accepted Uses
  9. List of Permitted Sweeteners
  10. List of Permitted pH Adjusting Agents, Acid-Reacting Materials and Water Correcting Agents
  11. List of Permitted Preservatives
  12. List of Permitted Sequestering Agents
  13. List of Permitted Starch Modifying Agents
  14. List of Permitted Yeast Foods
  15. List of Permitted Carrier or Extraction Solvents

Archived Lists

Background

The 15 lists of permitted food additives are meant to replace the food additive tables housed under Division 16 of the Food and Drug Regulations. Each list is incorporated by reference into a Marketing Authorization (MA), which sets out the conditions and legal foundation for the use of the list.

Health Canada has yet to repeal the additive tables found in Division 16 of the Regulations. Until this occurs, two sets of additive lists will temporarily exist: the tables found in Division 16 of the Regulations and the Lists of permitted food additives. A transition guide has been created to provide stakeholders with further information on the lists as well as guidance on how to interpret and use them.

Modifying the Lists

Companies interested in selling a food additive that does not appear on one of the lists or for a purpose, a level or in a food that is not described on the lists must file a food additive submission with Health Canada for assessment. "A Guide for the Preparation of Submissions on Food Additives" provides petitioners with detailed instructions including information requirements.

Food Additive Proposals

New Food Additives

Upon completion of the scientific assessment, should the science support the submission, Health Canada will notify the public of its intent to modify the Lists of permitted food additives via a "Notice of Proposal" that will be posted on the Health Canada website for public consideration. Interested parties may provide comments on the proposal and, should new scientific or safety evidence be raised, revisions may be made. A "Notice of Modification" will be posted on the website once the proposal has been formally incorporated into the lists.

Extensions of Use

Decisions for extensions of use are enabled in the incorporated lists immediately following the completion of a favourable scientific assessment. "Notices of Modification" will be issued signalling the formal adoption of the decision. Interested parties may provide comments on the decision. This approach mirrors the Interim Marketing Authorization (IMA) process which previously existed for extensions of use.