Final agreement has been secured at the European Union Council of Ministers over an updating of EU food labelling legislation ensuring all compound ingredients are named.

This scraps a regulation allowing their omission when, together, they make up less than 25% of the final product.

Under the new rules it will be mandatory to list all sub-ingredients of compound ingredients, ensuring that allergens cannot be used in sauces, without a consumer being informed. The legislation would also force labelling to declare when potential allergens - such as eggs, milk or mustard - are present.

A list of such ingredients will be maintained by the European Commission, which can - under a final amendment to the law - be amended following consultation with the European Food Safety Authority should research show a particular use of an allergenic ingredient is safe.