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The European Union (EU) defines common rules for certain sugars intended for human consumption, in compliance with the general legislation applicable to foodstuffs. These rules concern the composition, sales name, labelling and presentation of foodstuffs.


Council Directive 2001/111/EC of 20 December 2001 relating to certain sugars intended for human consumption [Official Journal L 10 of 12.01.2002].


Directive 2001/111/CE improves the labelling of certain edible sugars in order to better inform consumers and to prevent them from being misled by the products they buy. It applies without prejudice to the general provisions relating to the labelling of foodstuffs.


Directive 2001/111/EC defines eleven sugar varieties:

  • semi-white sugar;
  • sugar (white sugar);
  • extra-white sugar;
  • sugar solution;
  • invert sugar solution;
  • invert sugar syrup;
  • glucose syrup;
  • dried glucose syrup;
  • dextrose monohydrate;
  • dextrose or dextrose anhydrous;
  • fructose.

Each variety has corresponding compositional characteristics and rules relating to packaging and labelling.


Directive 2001/111/EC lays down certain specific provisions for pre-packaged products weighing less than 20 g, for sugar solutions, for invert sugar syrup containing crystals as well as for certain products containing more than 5 % fructose. The net weight of pre-packaged products weighing less than 20 g need not be indicated on the labelling. However, the labelling of invert sugar solutions and invert sugar syrup must indicate the levels of dry matter and invert sugar content. Furthermore, the labelling of invert sugar syrup containing crystals must include the qualifying term ‘crystallised’. Finally, glucose syrups (including dried glucose syrups) which contain more than 5 % of fructose (dry matter) must be labelled as ‘glucose-fructose syrup’ or ‘fructose-glucose syrup’ and ‘dried glucose-fructose syrup’ or ‘dried fructose-glucose syrup’, to reflect whether the glucose component or the fructose component is in greater proportion.

For the products defined in the Annex, Member States shall not adopt national provisions not provided for by this Directive.


This Directive forms part of the programme to simplify certain vertical Directives relating to foodstuffs in order to take account only of the essential requirements to be met by the products they cover so that those products may move freely within the internal market.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2001/111/EC



OJ L 10 of 12.1.2002

Last updated: 28.12.2010
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