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FOOD AND HEALTH ESSENTIALS

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EU Commission approves use of silicon dioxide as anti-caking agent

The Commission of the European Union (EU) amended its regulations applicable to food additives to approve the use of silicon dioxide as a anti-caking agent in potassium nitrate, a meat additive.

Published in July in the Official Journal of the European Union, Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/1271 modifies Annex III of its Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008, which details additives which are approved for use in food products. Under the revised Annex, silicon dioxide is now approved for use in potassium nitrate in accordance with prescribed levels.

Potassium nitrate is often used to cure and preserve meat products against microbial contamination. However, potassium nitrate reportedly has a tendency to cake in use, hindering its effectiveness in food processing. The addition of silicon dioxide to potassium nitrate provides the necessary anti-caking characteristics without the adverse effects observed with the use of other anti-caking agents. In addition, there is no evidence that silicon dioxide presents any hazard to human health when used at levels necessary to prevent caking. 

The complete text of the Commission’s Regulation on the use of silicon dioxide is available here.

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