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The European Union (EU) defines common rules for certain sugars intended for human consumption, in compliance with the general legislation applicable to foodstuffs. These rules concern the composition, sales name, labelling and presentation of foodstuffs.


Council Directive 2001/111/EC of 20 December 2001 relating to certain sugars intended for human consumption [Official Journal L 10 of 12.01.2002].


Directive 2001/111/CE improves the labelling of certain edible sugars in order to better inform consumers and to prevent them from being misled by the products they buy. It applies without prejudice to the general provisions relating to the labelling of foodstuffs.


Directive 2001/111/EC defines eleven sugar varieties:

  • semi-white sugar;
  • sugar (white sugar);
  • extra-white sugar;
  • sugar solution;
  • invert sugar solution;
  • invert sugar syrup;
  • glucose syrup;
  • dried glucose syrup;
  • dextrose monohydrate;
  • dextrose or dextrose anhydrous;
  • fructose.

Each variety has corresponding compositional characteristics and rules relating to packaging and labelling.


Directive 2001/111/EC lays down certain specific provisions for pre-packaged products weighing less than 20 g, for sugar solutions, for invert sugar syrup containing crystals as well as for certain products containing more than 5 % fructose. The net weight of pre-packaged products weighing less than 20 g need not be indicated on the labelling. However, the labelling of invert sugar solutions and invert sugar syrup must indicate the levels of dry matter and invert sugar content. Furthermore, the labelling of invert sugar syrup containing crystals must include the qualifying term crystallised. Finally, glucose syrups (including dried glucose syrups) which contain more than 5 % of fructose (dry matter) must be labelled as glucose-fructose syrup or fructose-glucose syrup and dried glucose-fructose syrup or dried fructose-glucose syrup, to reflect whether the glucose component or the fructose component is in greater proportion.

For the products defined in the Annex, Member States shall not adopt national provisions not provided for by this Directive.


This Directive forms part of the programme to simplify certain vertical Directives relating to foodstuffs in order to take account only of the essential requirements to be met by the products they cover so that those products may move freely within the internal market.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2001/111/EC



OJ L 10 of 12.1.2002


Regulation (EU) No 1021/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directives 1999/4/EC and 2000/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Directives 2001/111/EC, 2001/113/EC and 2001/114/EC as regards the powers to be conferred on the Commission [Official Journal L 287 of 29.10.2013].

  • This regulation aligns the existing Commission implementing powers provided for in the five so-called breakfast directives with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and in particular with Article 290 which allows the Commission to adopt delegated acts.

Last updated: 29.04.2014