In a bid to clear up confusion over the legal use of edible and non-toxic glitters, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has developed new guidance for food businesses and consumers.

The FSA has previously said it was aware that non-edible cake decorating materials, described as dusts or glitters, were being marketed in a way that could be deemed misleading, and hoped the new guidance would help businesses and consumers to safely use these products with food.

It said as a general rule, only glitter or dust clearly labelled as ‘edible’ should be applied to food for consumption. Edible products will be made from permitted additives (such as mica and titanium dioxide) and must comply with the requirements of EU food additives legislation, it advised.

“Edible glitter or dust must be labelled with the name or E-number of any additives used and should carry either the statement ‘For food,’ ‘Restricted use in food,’ or a more specific reference to their intended food use,” said the FSA.

“‘Non-toxic’ and inedible glitters that have been tested and meet the requirements of the legislation on food contact materials and articles can be applied to food for decoration, but cannot be applied to food for consumption. They should be labelled ‘For food contact’ (or alternative wording to show they are not to be eaten) and include instructions for use.”

Other ‘non-toxic’ glitters and dusts that have not been tested to see if their constituent chemicals migrate into food at levels above legal limits, do not meet the requirements of the legislation on food contact materials and articles, and should not come into contact with food.

Glitter manufacturers are required to provide suppliers with a ‘declaration of compliance’ to show the product(s) meet the requirements of legislation for food contact materials and articles.

In February this year, British Baker reported that there was huge confusion in the cake-making community regarding the use of decorative glitters and dust.

For more on this visit the FSA website.

>>’Glittergate’ brings confusion to UK cake-makers