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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the use of the food additive Microcrystalline Cellulose (E460) regulated? Is this additive dangerous for children?

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Food additives are strictly regulated and go through an authorisation procedure. Authorised food additives are clearly defined substances which have to fulfil strict purity criteria and maximum levels are fixed to protect the consumer. Above all there must be a technological need for their use and a clear benefit to the consumer. Microcrystalline Cellulose or E460 is used as anti-caking agent. No adverse effects are known. A number of clinical studies using refined cellulose as roughage in human diet for the treatment of constipation showed no deleterious effects. Groups of 18 children received regular amounts of edible cellulose instead of normal cereal for three months. The only effect noted was an increase in bowel movements but no diarrhoea or other gastrointestinal disturbances were seen.

WHO Food additives series no. 5


The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) is a non-profit organisation which communicates science-based information on nutrition and health, food safety and quality, to help consumers to be better informed when choosing a well-balanced, safe and healthful diet.

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This site was last updated 19/05/2016
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