The Food Standards Agency – Answer to Capsaicin ban

by Hot Juan on January 19, 2011 · 1 comment

in News

Food Standards Agency

IMPORTANT email from the Food Standards Agency:-

Thank you for your email of 18th January regarding a capsaicin ban. Tomorrow the Flavouring Regulation EC No 1334/2008 applies, although there are transitional measures which state ‘Foods lawfully placed on the market or labelled prior to 20 January 2011 which do not comply with this Regulation may be marketed until their date of minimum durability or use-by-date.’ The legislation can be viewed at

Annex III, Part A of the above Regulation lists which substances shall not be added as such to food. This list includes capsaicin. Therefore you are correct in saying that pure capsaicin cannot be added to food as a flavouring. Flavouring preparations such as oleoresins and essential oils, which naturally contain capsaicin, can still be used in foods. In addition, chilli powder (which is classed as a food ingredient with flavouring properties) can also still be used as a flavouring.

I should also point out that if you are labelling your products as containing ‘natural flavourings’, I suggest that you refer to Article 16 which sets out the conditions for the use of the term natural.

As food law enforcement is the responsibility of local authorities, I would advise you to contact your local authority Trading Standards Department or Environmental Health Department. Contact details can be found by visiting and typing in your postcode or contacting your local authority directly.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

Kind regards,


I would like to stress this is only our interpretation of the legislation. It would ultimately be a matter for a court of law to provide a definitive legal interpretation.

Wendy Dixon
Food Additives Scientist
Additives Branch
Chemical Safety Division
Food Standards Agency
5C Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6NH
020 7276 8587

Food Standards Agency (FSA)

For the latest food news and information visit

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Our thanks to Russell at Grim Reaper Foods for forwarding this on to us.

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