The 25 rule

This rule is contained in European Food Labelling Legislation. It states that compound ingredients (i.e. those that themselves contain a number of ingredients, e.g. toffee, biscuits, chocolate chips) that comprise less than 25% of the finished weight of the product need only be declared as the compound ingredient and not as the constituent ingredients that make up the product.

Manufacturers recognise the importance of providing information on the ingredients list to help sufferers of food allergies to select a suitable diet with confidence. To do this the list must accurately reflect the ingredients in the product, including those allergens that are present in minute amounts. Consequently, the majority of manufacturers voluntarily ignore the exceptions to the law and voluntarily label the presence of all allergens on the ingredients list. This includes carriers of ingredients, constituents of compound ingredients, and ingredients that may be present through cross-contamination that are on the list of key allergens.

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