More precise estimate of the dietary intake of food additives in Finland

An earlier study conducted by the Risk Assessment Unit (Evira’s Research Reports 2/2018) identified slightly over 20 food additives or additive groups the intake of which from food may be too high among some Finnish children or adults. The intake was assessed on the basis of the highest permitted levels of use detailed in the EU regulation on additives (EC No 1333/2008) by using the fairly rough FAIM tool published by the European Food Safety Authority EFSA. In the tool, the key figures for the consumption of the different food groups came from national food use studies. The estimated dietary intake of some of the additives was specified in more detail by determining the actual levels of use from industry in Finland with the help of the Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation ETL. The intake was compared to the acceptable daily intake (ADI) defined for the additive studied. The risk of health detriments is minimal if the average long-term intake is not higher than the ADI value.

EFSA has since then updated the FAIM tool and published a more detailed version of it (FAIM 2.0). This project aims to:

  1. use the FAIM 2.0 tool and the data on the levels of use from the earlier study to estimate the intake of the food additives that in 2018 were classified as requiring more specific monitoring in Finland (= to verify the earlier estimate with the updated tool).
  2. specify the intake estimates with the help of the market shares of foods containing the additives studied and
  3. update the review with data from EFSA’s most recent estimates.

The market shares will be estimated using the lists of ingredients of products included in the product ranges of the online stores of the S Group and K Group. The examination of the market share will be limited to the food groups that are the most important sources of the additive studied.

The food additive intake of Finnish children and adults produced as a result of this project will still be a less accurate estimate than what could be achieved through laboratory analyses and food use data detailed at the level of individuals. However, it will provide more precise information on those food additives that may need to be monitored at the national level more frequently than what is required in EU-level guidelines. This way, the results will benefit food control planning. The project will also identify and prioritise the additives of which a scientific risk assessment may have to be drawn up to be used as a basis for the national food use recommendations or other risk management measures.


2020 – 2021



Project group

  • Johanna Suomi
  • Liisa Uusitalo
  • Iiris Juntunen (data collection for market share assessment)
  • Pirkko Tuominen

More information

Johanna Suomi

Page last updated 10/27/2020