EU ministers have approved the final shape of reforms to the 1995 directive on food additives other than colourings and sweeteners, accepting a European Parliament amendment that banned the use of sodium alginate in pre-packaged raw peeled carrots, which prevents them turning white and soft. MEP’s claimed that the additive could be a laxative and could be used to make carrots look fresher then they were in reality. The final package also authorises the use of hydrogen (E848) and zinc acetate (E650). It allows the use of “some food additives, which are currently forbidden, but have recently been evaluated by the Scientific Committee of Food and found acceptable for human consumption.”

By Keith Nuthall, correspondent