European Union ministers have been asked to agree a permanent ban on the use of the additive konjac in jelly mini-cups and similar jelly confectionery, because of concerns about how consumers have choked to their deaths on the sweets.

Konjac prevents the jelly dissolving and so was subject to a temporary ban this April by the European Commission. Now Brussels has asked EU ministers to make this ruling permanent by amending Directive 95/2/EC on food additives other than colours and sweeteners which currently authorises certain uses of konjac (E425).

The Association of the Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries of the EU (CAOBISCO) has been consulted about the proposal and made no comment, said the Commission.