European legislation on food additives lists natamycin – a natural mold inhibitor – as a preservative, E-235.
In Europe, natamycin can be used in the hard surface layers of semi-soft, semi-hard and hard cheeses, as well as in dry and cured sausages.
The product must be labelled when natamycin is not applied in its natural packaging but instead on its surface.
The E- numbering system is used almost exclusively in Europe, since it is not used elsewhere, and natamycin can be labelled indicating its mold prevention properties or its natural characteristics as a preservative.
As a rule, the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rate natamycin as a substance safe for human consumption after an in-depth assessment.