Newly revised “Standards for the Use of Food Additives in Food” has come into force for food sector to operate in compliance with the law


Into force since 1 May this year, the Administrative Regulation No. 5/2024 “Standards for the Use of Food Additives in Food” integrates and updates the previous standards for the use of food additives, expanding the coverage to more types and the scope of regulation to further ensure food safety in Macao. The Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) will continue to carry out regular inspections of random food samples and daily food safety inspections. If any test results fail to meet food safety standards, or the production and operation of such food violate the “Food Safety Law”, IAM will handle the cases in accordance with the law.
Correct use of additives to ensure food safety
Food additives are commonly used in the food industry. Their correct use can improve the safety and quality of food. However, long-term consumption of excessive amounts of food containing food additives or consumption of food containing additives that fail to pass safety evaluation may pose health risks to the human body. Therefore, it is necessary to formulate food safety standards and have specific monitoring in place.
The newly effective “Standards for the Use of Food Additives in Food” not only integrates and updates the three previous food safety standards for food colourings, sweeteners, preservatives and antioxidants, but also adds the standards for the use of food additives commonly found in local food products, including emulsifiers, acidity regulators, stabilisers, anti-caking agents, flavour enhancers and raising agents. At the same time, it expands the coverage to about 400 types of food additives and adds thousands of combinations of food additives and the standards for their corresponding maximum limits of use to further provide guidance and regulate the use of food additives by the sector.
Members of the sector are required to understand product ingredients and properly keep receipts
IAM reminds members of the food sector that they are obliged to understand the ingredients and sources of the food they sell and ensure that they comply with regulatory requirements. They should also comply with the requirements of good manufacturing practices and minimise the use of additives. In addition, they should improve their internal food safety management systems and properly keep all receipts of food ingredients, including food additives, in order for competent authorities to trace the source of the goods when necessary.
To facilitate the food sector's production and operation in accordance with the law, IAM has established the “food safety standards database - food additives” and launched the “Guidelines on Food Category System for Food Additives”, allowing the sector to use the database and guidelines to find out whether specific food additives can be used in certain food products, as well as their maximum limits of use. At the same time, a dedicated page has been set up on the Food Safety Information website to provide the public with the content of the relevant regulation, frequently asked questions, as well as the links to log in to the database and the guidelines on category system.​