The growing consumer demand for products that offer greater guarantees of conservation drives the food industry to innovate in the durability of the marketed products. This is the case of natamycin and its application to prevent the appearance of the dreaded mould in food.
Food additive safety is monitored by global organisations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and others closer to consumers, like the autonomic bodies in Spain.
In Europe it is the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) while in the US it is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which are responsible for studying the final approval of food additives.
The system used in both continents is the positive list, in other words only the additives that appear in the lists drawn up by these bodies can be used, and only certain foods and at the maximum established doses (ADI-admissible daily intake).
In Europe, the reference legislation is Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and Council of 16 December 2008, regarding food additives. This means that regardless of the European country where the product is to be marketed, the rules are set by the European Union, not by each country. It can be very complicated to consult this Regulation, especially in a non-electronic version, since it is continually modified.
The following diagram brings the three main drivers of food safety together on any level, which must each work on their own, without conditioning each other but integrating their strategies:
Research is basic in adjusting the recommended doses, in finding additives with more and better properties and in ensuring their safety in the foods in which they are to be used.
The role of the legislating administrations can not be a simple procedure either, because they supervise the producer’s responsibility for putting the product in the hands of its consumers with the best sanitary guarantees.