Food improvement agents (additives, flavourings and enzymes)

Food improvement agents (FIA) include food additives, flavourings and enzymes. Apart from certain flavouring types, the European Food Safety Authority EFSA assesses the safety of the substances before their use is authorised. FIAs are usually not consumed as food, but they are intentionally added to food for technological purposes. 

Processing aids and extraction solvents are also used for their technological purpose in the production of foods. Solvents are regulated through Directive 2009/32/EC wheras there are no harmonized rules for processing aids in the EU. Directive 2009/32/EC is implemented nationally by the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 1020/2011.

Finland’s positions on drafting EU legislation concerning FIA matters are coordinated in an expert group of the sub-committee responsible for food legislation and control operating under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

More information and guidelines on the legislation on food improvement agents is available on the Commission website.

The European Commission maintains an online database on food additives and their uses. Please keep in mind that the database only serves as a tool and has no legal value like the legislation on additives.

The Finnish Food Authority’s website includes, for example, national guidelines on the control of FIAs and operators, results of analysis projects and risk assessment reports.

Further information

Anna Lemström, Senior Officer 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Food Department, Food Safety Unit Telephone:0295162145   Email Address: