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[Updated] Canada Food Additives in 2023: Health Canada Consults on a New Preservative

This article tracks and collects the regulatory updates on food additives in 2023. Latest update: On November 20, 2023, Health Canada proposed to enable the use of chitosan from white button mushrooms (Agaricusbisporus) as a preservative by modifying the List of Permitted Preservatives.

In Canada, food additive is defined as any chemical substance that is added to food during preparation or storage and either becomes a part of the food or affects the food's characteristics for achieving a particular technical effect.  

All permitted food additives and their conditions of use are listed in the Lists of Permitted Food Additives, which contains 15 classes of food additives, such as anticaking agents, bleaching, colouring agents, sweeteners, and etc. It is noteworthy that processing aids, food ingredients, vitamins/minerals/amino acids, spices/seasonings/flavouring preparations, agricultural chemicals, veterinary drugs, and food packaging materials are excluded from the scope of food additives.

Based on scientific assessment, Health Canada will notify the approval of new food additives and the usage extensions of existing additives. This article tracks and collects the regulatory updates on food additives in 2023.

Latest Update: November 20, 2023 [Preservatives] [Consultation Draft]

On November 20, 2023, Health Canada unveiled NOP/ADP-0042, planning to enable the use of chitosan from white button mushrooms (Agaricusbisporus) as a preservative in numerous foods at maximum levels of use ranging from 150 parts per million (ppm) to 1,500 ppm. Public comments can be sent to before February 2, 2024. Details are as follows:

Column 1 Additive

Column 2 Permitted in or Upon

Column 3 Maximum Level of Use and Other Conditions


Chitosan from Agaricus bisporus (average molecular weight 90 to 120 kDa and degree of deacetylation not less than 80%)

(1) Apricot nectar; Concentrated (naming the fruit) juice; Concentrates for unstandardized beverages containing fruit juice; Fruit-based or dairy-based smoothie beverages; Fruit-flavoured drinks; (naming the fruit) Juice; (naming the fruits) Juice; Peach nectar; Pear nectar; Unstandardized beverages containing fruit juice

(1) 600 p.p.m.

(2) Bread; Unstandardized bakery products

(2) 1,000 p.p.m.

(3) Caffeinated energy drinks; Unstandardized alcoholic beverages; Unstandardized fermented tea beverages; Unstandardized non-alcoholic water-based beverages; Unstandardized tea beverages; Unstandardized vegetable juices; Water-based beverages with vitamin and mineral nutrients added, except beverages with vitamins added in accordance with Part D of the Food and Drug Regulations

(3) 400 p.p.m.

(4) Cheddar cheese; (naming the variety) Cheese; Cold-pack (naming the variety) cheese; Cold-pack cheese food; Cold-pack (naming the variety) cheese with (naming the added ingredients); Cold-pack cheese food with (naming the added ingredients); Cottage cheese; Cream cheese; Cream cheese with (naming the added ingredients); Cream cheese spread; Cream cheese spread with (naming the added ingredients); Processed cheese food; Processed cheese food with (naming the added ingredients); Processed cheese spread; Processed cheese spread with (naming the added ingredients); Processed (naming the variety) cheese; Processed (naming the variety) cheese with (naming the added ingredients); Unstandardized cheese-based sauces; Unstandardized processed cheese products; Unstandardized shredded cheese products

(4) 1,500 p.p.m.

(5) Egg-based desserts; Fruit-based desserts

(5) 800 p.p.m.

(6) Fillings; Toppings; Unstandardized table syrups

(6) 1,000 p.p.m.

(7) Fresh pasta; Fresh noodles

(7) 200 p.p.m.

(8) Frostings; Icings

(8) 400 p.p.m.

(9) Liquid plant protein isolate-based products that resemble egg products

(9) 1,500 p.p.m.

(10) Liquid soup bases; Liquid soup mixes; Soups

(10) 400 p.p.m.

(11) Liquid table-top sweeteners

(11) 1,000 p.p.m.

(12) Meal replacement bars; Nutritional supplement bars

(12) 200 p.p.m.

(13) Plant-based products that resemble cheese

(13) 1,500 p.p.m.

(14) Relishes

(14) 800 p.p.m.

(15) Simulated meat products; Simulated poultry products

(15) 1,500 p.p.m.

(16) Unstandardized coffee beverages

(16) 150 p.p.m.

(17) Unstandardized confectionery coatings

(17) 1,000 p.p.m.

(18) Unstandardized fruit spreads

(18) 1,000 p.p.m.

(19) Unstandardized salad dressings

(19) 1,000 p.p.m.

(20) Unstandardized sauces

(20) 1,000 p.p.m.

(21) Unstandardized snack bars

(21) 200 p.p.m.

(22) Unstandardized vegetable purées

(22) 400 p.p.m.

(23) Yogurt

(23) 1,000 p.p.m.


November 3, 2023 [Coloring agents]
October 11, 2023 [Food enzymes]
September 28, 2023 [Food enzymes]
September 13, 2023 [Food enzymes]
August 3, 2023 [Food enzymes]
June 28, 2023 [Food enzymes]
June 9, 2023 [Food enzymes]
May 31, 2023 [Emulsifying, gelling, stabilizing or thickening agents]
May 24, 2023 [Colouring agents]
May 23, 2023 [Food enzymes]
April 27, 2023 [Food enzymes]
March 31, 2023 [Emulsifying, gelling, stabilizing or thickening agents]
March 28, 2023 [Food enzyme]
March 9, 2023 [Anticaking agents, coloring agents, emulsifying, gelling, stabilizing or thickening agents, firming agents, food additives with other accepted uses, pH adjusting agents, acid-reacting materials and water correcting agents, starch-modifying agents] [Consultation draft]
March 2, 2023 [Food enzymes] 
February 27, 2023 [Food additives]
February 22, 2023 [Food enzymes]
February 6, 2023 [Food enzymes]
February 2, 2023 [Sweeteners]

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