The Council and European Parliament have adopted an amendment to the EU food-labelling directive.

The amendment will ensure that consumers are informed of the complete contents of foodstuffs subject only to a very limited number of derogations, which will not apply to certain ingredients listed in the directive that are liable to cause allergies or intolerance.

The new rules abolish the “25% rule”, which currently means that it is not obligatory to label components of compound ingredients that make up less than 25% of the final food product.

Under the new rules, it will be mandatory to list all sub-ingredients of compound ingredients, which means that allergens cannot be “hidden”, the Commission said.

In addition, some labelling exceptions will no longer be accepted for allergens. Previously it was possible to declare ingredients only as a category (e.g. “vegetable oil”), whereas the new rules will require the source to be indicated for all allergenic ingredients so that, for example, “peanut oil” must be specified. Similarly, the source of a natural flavour such as a nut will have to be indicated, while it is currently labelled only as “natural flavour”.