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EU: New rules soon on fruit juices

Following on from the Committee of Permanent Representatives' meeting in mid-November, the European Parliament has now endorsed the new rules that will improve the quality and labelling of fruit juices and ban the addition of sugar to these beverages. Meeting in plenary, on 14 December, MEPs supported by a very large majority the compromise on the proposal for amendment of Directive 2001/112/CE of the Council on fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption.

The new rules make mainly technical changes based on progress in production methods and provisions of the Codex Alimentarius. They confirm the distinction between fresh juices and concentrated juices or nectars. The rules ban the addition of sugar or sweeteners to fruit juices and permit the industry to indicate this to consumers during a limited period. The directive also improves the clarity of juice labelling so that fruits will be listed in descending order of the volume of juices in the final product (the words 'several fruits' may be used for three or more fruits). All these rules will apply to products manufactured in Europe as well as those imported from outside the Union.

Once the new directive has been published in the EU Official Journal, the member states will have 18 months to transpose and apply it. Products labelled or placed on the market during this period may still be marketed for an additional 18 months. The Commission may amend the annexes to the directive through delegated acts during a period of five years.


Publication date: 12/16/2011


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