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New additives for organic food: opinions are different with erythritol
The EU has approved four new additives for organic processors. Beeswax (E 901) from ecological beekeeping and carnauba wax (E 903) from ecological raw materials will be permitted as coating agents for confectionery. Both bees wax and carnauba wax from the Brazilian palm are particularly suitable for treating the surfaces of fruits and thus protecting them from drying out. Both substances were previously approved as release agents for organic processing.
Gellan (E 418) is approved as a new gelling agent. It is suitable for jams, jams and confectionery. Even in low concentrations, Gellan forms firm, clear gels from liquids. Gellan improves the gelling properties of the locust bean gum commonly used in organic products.
The sugar substitute erythritol (E 968) is also permitted, but only if it is obtained from ecological production without the use of ion exchange technology.
For organic farming, the EU regulation stipulates "to keep the use of additives and auxiliaries to a minimum". While 320 additives are allowed in conventional food production, organic companies can theoretically now use around 50. The ecological cultivation associations are stricter and use only 20 substances.
While gellan and waxes are relatively uncontroversial, the approval of erythritol in the organic industry is rejected. »Erythritol doesn't match organic. The production is not compatible with ecological principles, «Karin Wegner from the Federal Association for Natural Food Natural Products (BNN) evaluates the new sweetener. Critical voices from the organic associations complain, according to the portal www.oekolandbau.de, that the change does not have a clear strategic focus: »For example, the harmless biochar has not been expanded. As before, this can only be found in ashed goat cheese and Morbier cheese. On the other hand, the Commission simply waved erythritol, which was controversial from the start, «regrets Dr. Friedhelm von Mering from the Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft e.V. (BÖLW).
While additives for organic products must always come from ecological raw materials, the new ordinance for lecithin (E322) makes an exception: it can also be used from conventional sources until 2019. Because lecithin in organic quality is currently not available in sufficient quantities.
Britta Klein, aid