[Translate to english:] Analyse von Zusatzstoffen


Analytical determination of additives in foodstuffs

Foodstuff additives are substances or mixtures of substances that are added to foodstuffs as an ingredient during the production, processing or storage for technological or sensory reasons. 
The types of additives includes dyes, flavour enhancers, preservatives, antioxidants, sweeteners, stabilisers, emulsifiers, smelting salts, thickening agents and aromas.

Their usage is regulated in Switzerland by the Ordinance on Additives (ZuV). Here, the permitted additives and their quantitative limits are defined and are listed in the form of an applications list.

Do you require the content determination of additives performed by an accredited Swiss contract laboratory? We will test for you in accordance internationally recognized, or with your internally developed methods. Quick, competent and reliable.

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Sascha Theobald

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Statutory regulations for additives

To protect the health of consumers from unlimited use of foodstuff additives, a principle of prohibition with reservation of authorisation applies: The use of additives is forbidden unless there is explicit approval, in general or for defined foodstuffs. Approval can be given either in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP, the quantities used must not be greater than that which is necessary to achieve the effect desired) or with a maximum restriction in quantity.

The usage of additives is regulated in Switzerland by the Ordinance on Additives (ZuV) from the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs (EDI). The Ordinance lists the additives that are permitted without restrictions and additives that are permitted with restrictions for a defined quantitative amount.

The “carry-over” principle is valid here: As long as an additive is permitted as an ingredient in a foodstuff, its usage is also permitted in the resulting foodstuff (upon compliance with the quantitative limit) in which the ingredient is used.

It is mandatory to declare the use of additives: Additives together with the indication of their type must be indicated in the list of ingredients, provided that they are technologically active in the end product. Every permissible additive has been assigned an E number Europe wide. This E number system incorporates more than 300 permitted additives and serves for the unified labelling in all European languages.

Additives may be added to foods for sensory or technological reasons
Additives may be added to foods for sensory or technological reasons

What are the reasons for investigating additives?

Here are some selected examples:

Monitoring the levels of additives (conforming with the maximum levels):

  • Curing substances (nitrites, nitrates) as preservatives in raw hams
  • Sulphites (sulphur dioxides, SO2) as preservatives in wine and dried fruits 

Testing for the usage of non-declared additives:

  • Monosodium glutamate as a flavour enhancer in foodstuffs
  • Phosphate as a stabiliser in cooked sausages
  • Sorbic acid and benzoic acid as preservatives in milk products
  • Natamycin as a preservative in cheese rind
  • Dyes in beverages, ice cream, confectionery and patisserie

Testing for the usage of non-approved additives:

  • Sudan dyes in spices and foodstuffs (in general)

Our services in detail:

  • Consultation on the analysis of additives
  • Detection and content determination of dyes
  • Detection and content determination of flavour enhancers
  • Detection and content determination of preservatives
  • Detection and content determination of sweeteners and sweetening agents
  • Detection and content determination of antioxidants and anti-oxidising agents
  • Detection and content determination of organic acids and aromatic acids
  • Analysis of foodstuffs, beverages, dietary foods and tobacco
  • Testing declaration
  • Additional services are according to the directory of services or upon request.
Determination of additives using HPLC
Determination of additives using HPLC

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