Food Law News - EU - 2006

Committee Report, 8 December 2006

LABELLING Discussions in the Standing Committee on the labelling of water content in fish and fishery products

Extract from the report of the meeting of the 8th December of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health - Section on General Food Law

Labelling of water content in fish and fishery products (Document SANCO/A/2006/18722)

The Committee, following a request of the Czech Republic , exchanged views on the question of the labelling of added water in glazed deep frozen fish. In particular, the Czech Republic expressed the view that water retained by water retention agents (polyphosphates) cannot be considered as added water if the amount of these agents contained in the final product does not exceed the maximum limit set by the legislation and consequently it should not be labelled as an ingredient.

The Commission recalled that, according to the labelling provisions, a distinction has to be made between glazing water, which must be taken into account for the calculation of the drained net weight, and added water, considered as ingredient.

Several delegations stated that added water should be labelled when it exceeds 5% by weight of the finished product. Some of these delegations also pointed out that the addition of water should be in line with the good manufacturing practices and must be considered separately from the use of polyphosphates products, and that the use of polyphosphates should be labelled in compliance with the rules for labelling of food additives.

It was concluded that any addition of water that results in the presence of water in the final product entails an obligation to include water in the list of ingredients provided that its amount exceeds 5% by weight of the finished product.

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