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Defining ‘natural’ in food: Commission pressed to fill ‘considerable gap’ in labelling framework

19th February 2021

Defining ‘natural’ in food: Commission pressed to fill ‘considerable gap’ in labelling framework

More than 30 MEPs are supporting a campaign for the term ‘natural’ to be legally defined in EU food law.

THE EU believes that consumers are being misled and that a legal definition of the word 'natural' is required. Whether this will be copied into UK law has yet to be debated. For consumers, the word natural relates to minimal processing and/or the absence of additives. Safe Food Advocacy Europe (SAFE) believe that the term natural is over and mis-used. 

You can read the full article HERE


Food Labelling Services comments:

The UK has strict guidelines on the use of the word ‘natural’. This is not legislation but should be adhered to.The use of the marketing term ‘natural’ or variations on this term, e.g. naturally better, natural goodness, gives the impression that a food exists in, or is formed by, nature. Compound foods contain more than one ingredient and as such are formed by man through processing and cannot therefore, be considered as being ‘natural’. However, provided that such compound foods are different from similar compound foods, it is then permissible to market these foods as ‘made with natural ingredients’ or terms with a similar meaning when the compound food can meet all of the following criteria:

1. The ingredients are formed by nature and are not significantly interfered with by man

2. The ingredients and the final food are:

a. Additive-free

b. Contain flavourings that are natural as defined in European law

c. Contain other food additives that are obtained from natural sources, e.g. plants, by appropriate physical processing (including distillation and solvent extraction) or traditional preparation processes.


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