EU ministers have agreed in principle legislation significantly extending the
requirements for food labelling by ensuring that all ingredients are listed, even when, as at present, 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, which means that allergens, for instance, cannot be “hidden” in sauces and other applications that might contain allergenic ingredients like eggs, milk or mustard.

The directive will come into force after the European Parliament’s second reading of the legislation early next year and consumers can expect to see concrete results of the directive on their shelves in 2005, the European Commission said.