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Processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children
Processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children are very closely monitored in the European Union. The legislation lays down harmonised standards for the composition (list of authorised products) and labelling of products of this type. Pesticide residues which may endanger the health of this sensitive population group are prohibited or controlled on the basis of maximum permissible quantities which may not exceed the acceptable daily intake values.
Commission Directive 2006/125/EC of 5 December 2006 on processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children (codified version).
This Directive is a specific directive within the meaning of Article 4 of Directive 89/398/EEC.
This Directive covers foodstuffs for particular nutritional use that fulfil the nutritional requirements of infants * and young children * in good health and are intended for use by infants while they are being weaned, and by young children as a supplement to their diet and/or for their progressive adaptation to ordinary food. They comprise:
- 'processed cereal-based foods', which are divided into the following four categories:
- simple cereals which are or have to be reconstituted with milk or other appropriate nutritious liquids;
- cereals with an added high protein food which are or have to be reconstituted with water or other protein-free liquid;
- pastas which are to be used after cooking in boiling water or other appropriate liquids;
- rusks and biscuits which are to be used either directly or, after pulverisation, with the addition of water, milk or other suitable liquids;
- "baby foods" other than processed cereal-based foods.
This Directive does not apply to milks intended for young children.
Member States must ensure that only products which comply with this Directive are marketed in the European Union (EU).
Only ingredients suitable for particular nutritional use for infants and young children (supported by scientific data) may be used in the manufacture of the foods concerned.
Processed cereal-based foods must comply with the compositional criteria specified in Annex I.
Baby foods which are described in Annex II must comply with the compositional criteria specified therein.
Only the nutritional substances listed in Annex IV may be added in the manufacture of processed cereal-based foods and baby foods within the maximum limits laid down by the directive. The purity criteria for those substances must be laid down at a later stage.
Processed cereal-based foods and baby foods may not contain any substance in such quantity as to endanger the health of infants and young children (see Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 under 'Related acts' below).
In addition to the mandatory particulars stipulated by Directive 2000/13/EC, labelling must bear the following information:
- the age from which the product may be used, which must not be less than four months. Products recommended for use from the age of four months may indicate that they are suitable from that age unless persons having qualifications in medicine, nutrition etc. advise otherwise;
- the presence or absence of gluten if the indicated age from which the product may be used is below six months;
- the available energy value (in kJ and kcal) and the protein, carbohydrate and lipid content (in numerical form) per 100 g or 100 ml of the product as sold and, where appropriate, per specified quantity of the product as proposed for consumption;
- the average quantity of each mineral substance and of each vitamin governed by a specific level in Annex I and Annex II respectively, expressed in numerical form, per 100 g or 100 ml of the product as sold and, where appropriate, per specified quantity of the product as proposed for consumption;
- instructions for appropriate preparation, when necessary, and a statement as to the importance of following those instructions.
The labelling may include non-mandatory particulars:
- the average quantity of the nutrients set out in Annex IV (in numerical form) per 100 g or 100 ml of the product as sold and, where appropriate, per specified quantity of the product as proposed for consumption;
- information on vitamins and minerals shown in Annex V (as a percentage of the reference values given therein) per 100 g or 100 ml of the product as sold, and where appropriate, per specified quantity of the product as proposed for consumption, provided that the quantities present are at least equal to 15% of the reference values.
Maximum pesticide levels
This Directive sets the maximum permissible level of pesticide residues in processed cereal-based foods and baby foods at 0.01 mg/kg, except for certain substances whose limit is laid down in Annex VI.
Standardised analytical methods must be used for determining the presence of pesticide residues.
This Directive prohibits the use of certain pesticides in agricultural products intended for baby foods (list in Annex VII).
For pesticides or pesticide metabolites in this list, the maximum level of 0.01 mg/kg may be excessive for infants and young children. This is the case for pesticides or metabolites of pesticides with an acceptable daily intake lower than 0.0005 mg/kg body weight.
The limit of quantification of the analytical methods is 0.003 mg/kg. At this level pesticides are considered not to have been used. This limit may be altered in the light of technical progress or data on environmental contamination.
|Key terms used in the act|
|Act||Entry into force - Date of expiry||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Directive 2006/125/EC||26.12.2006||-||OJ L 339 of 6.12.2006|