The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) is to push on with its investigation into UK research claiming to show a link between food colourings and hyperactivity in children.

EFSA said it has received the extra information from the UK's Food Standards Agency that it needed to continue with its probe.

EFSA scientists are now examining the data to give a verdict on the claims by the UK's University of Southampton that certain food colours and the preservative sodium benzoate can lead to hyperactivity in children.

EFSA has been asked for an opinion by the European Commission by February, but the agency is warning its conclusions may come a "few weeks later".

EFSA said: "It is essential to ensure that the experts, who have volunteered on short notice to assist EFSA, can properly scrutinise both the Southampton study and the wider scientific evidence base."