At its annual meeting in Geneva, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex Commission) adopted 35 new international food standards, including guidelines on the use of flavourings and gluten-free products.

Scientific findings have been used to establish definitions for flavourings and flavouring substances, verifying what is natural and what is synthetic. The Codex Commission also adopted recommendations identifying when flavourings should be used and suggested their use at minimal levels so as not to be ‘unsafe’.

The gluten-free products standard adopts an accepted threshold for gluten in ‘gluten free’ products, cutting the limit from 5g per kg (500ppm) to 20mg per kg (20ppm), a level that is considered to pose no risk to allergy sufferers.

Standards relating to labelling guidelines, advice on mycotoxins, a standard for tomatoes and a code of practice for the processing and handling of quick-frozen foods were also adopted at the meeting.