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US Pharmacopeia releases new edition of the Food Chemicals Codex

Rockville, Md., March 4, 2008 The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) today announced the release of the latest edition of the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), a compendium that sets standards for the identity, quality and purity of ingredients found in foods consumed by the public every day, including colorings, flavorings, nutrients, preservatives and processing aids.

The new edition is the sixth publication of the compendium since 1966, and the first under USPs direction, having previously been published by the Institute of Medicine. The compendium is used by manufacturers of food, food chemicals and food ingredients to ensure that their products meet identity, purity and quality standards. As a private, science-based, non-governmental organization that sets the standards that prescription and over-the-counter medications sold in the United States must meet by law via the United States PharmacopeiaNational Formulary (USPNF) compendia, USP is well qualified to set similar standards for food ingredients.

With the increasing globalization of the food supply, the availability of pure and safe foods is more important than ever, said Darrell Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D., chief science officer for USP. This latest edition of the Food Chemicals Codex will help assure that food ingredients are meeting high standards of quality for public consumption, just as USP has done with pharmaceutical products for close to 200 years.

The new edition contains more than 1,000 monograph standards and tests to assure the identity, quality and purity of food ingredients. A new edition will be published every two years, with an annual supplement between editions. The FCC will be revised and updated via an open, transparent, participatory and scientific process that includes experts from industry as well as scientific, technical, governmental and trade organizations. All interested parties are encouraged to submit proposed revisions and comments through the online FCC Forum (, the mechanism through which USP revises FCC standards by a process of public review and comment. The process is similar to the one USP relies on to establish federally recognized drug standards in the USPNF.


Contact: Sandra Kim
US Pharmacopeia

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