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Italian health ministry strengthens legal foundation of charcoal bread ban

24th January 2016

Italian health ministry strengthens legal foundation of charcoal bread ban

Italian health chiefs have updated the wording of a ban on the use of activated charcoal in bread – giving it a stronger legal foundation.

 Earlier this month,  the Italian Ministry of Health issued guidance stating any product containing activated charcoal, which is one source of food colouring E153 Carbon Black, cannot be marketed as a ‘bread’, as the use of colourings in bread is not allowed under EU law.

This guidance was particularly targeted at so-called ‘black bread’, or pane con carbone vegetale (bread with vegetable carbon), and came as 12 bakeries in Italy were reported to have been accused of selling bread coloured with charcoal and claiming the products could help with digestive disorders.

Charcoal bread considered 'novel food'

Italian authorities have now updated the guidance to specify that any use of charcoal in bread would be considered a ‘novel food’ under EU law. Charcoal can be used as a colour additive under the guidance, but only in ‘fine bakery’ goods - a category that includes both sweet and savory food such as biscuits and crackers.


You can read the full article HERE


Food Labelling Services comments:

By specifying that the use of charcoal in bread is considered a novel food will forced the manufacturers of the Black Bread to get the use of charcoal authorised in the Novel Foods Catalogue.

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