Are you ready for the new rules on food additives in Thailand?

06 February, 2024

Food business operators planning to launch new products in Thailand must comply with the recently amended additive regulation, published in December 2023. The Food and Drug Administration of Thailand issued Notification of the Ministry of Public Health (No. 444) B.E. 2566 Re: Prescribing the principle, conditions, methods and proportion of food additives (No. 3), amending the existing additive regulations that food businesses must follow.


To facilitate a smooth transition, a two-year grace period from 7th December 2023 has been granted to food manufacturers and importers. During this period, they can continue to sell food products containing the previously approved food additives, while making the necessary adjustments to align with the updated requirements.

The revision of the additive regulation was prompted by a safety re-evaluation of specific additives by the Codex committee. This comprehensive revision involves the replacement of the existing list of permitted food additives, an elaboration to the food category system and provision of descriptors for each note (i.e., condition of use). The goal is to align Thailand’s regulatory framework with international standards and current guidelines, prioritizing safety and consumer protection.

Examples of notable changes include:

  • Removal of certain food additives (e.g., sucrose oligoesters, sucrose esters of fatty acids, canthaxanthin and sucroglycerides) from the Positive List
  • Decreasing the number of categories where an additive is permitted. For example, alitame, a di-peptide sweetener, has been reduced from 11 food categories to 4 categories (edible ices, chewing gums, table-top sweeteners directly sold to consumers, and water-based flavoured drinks)
  • Inclusion of paprika extract and advantame as new additives to be used in foods
  • Changes of maximum limits of specific food additives in certain food categories. For example, Carotenes, Beta-,Vegetable (INS 160a(ii)) is now permitted in the food category of ‘oil and fat from plant and animal’ to a maximum limit of 25 mg/kg, which previously was 1000 mg/kg

How Leatherhead can help

For comprehensive assistance in navigating the new requirements on food additives in Thailand, or addressing other regulatory requirements in the Asia Pacific or world-wide, please get in touch at [email protected]. Leatherhead’s experienced team of scientists and regulatory experts can support you every step of the way. Leatherhead Food Research Members are kept up to date with changing regulations through the weekly Global Legal Highlights newsletter. To learn more, get in touch with our membership team at [email protected].

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