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Fruit juices and similar products - EUR-Lex

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Fruit juices and similar products

The composition of fruit juices, their reserved names, their manufacturing characteristics and their labelling are subject to specific rules.

ACT

Council Directive 2001/112/EC of 20 September 2001 relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption [See amending act(s)].

SUMMARY

Fruit juices

The products covered by this Directive are:

  • fruit juice,
  • fruit juice from concentrate,
  • dehydrated/powdered fruit juice,
  • water extracted fruit juice, and
  • fruit nectar.

These products are defined on the basis of their composition and preparation processes so as to ensure that the terms are used correctly in trade, and not in a manner which may mislead consumers. The Directive also defines particular (traditional) designations used in certain countries and languages.

Labelling

Fruit juices are labelled in accordance with the general rules laid down in Directive 2000/13/EC relating to foodstuffs. However, specific provisions are adopted in this Directive in order to improve consumer information. These provisions require to make it clear in the product name:

  • if a product is a mixture of different fruits;
  • if a product has been obtained entirely or partly from a concentrate.

The addition of sugars is no longer authorised in fruit juices. For other products, added sugars should continue to be labelled in accordance with Directive 2000/13/EC. Since the addition of sugars was previously allowed, it was common that some food business operators labelled the absence of added sugars in the fruit juices for commercial reasons by means of nutrition claim with no added sugars. The use of this claim will be no longer be allowed after the end of the transitional period (18 months after the date of application of new rules).

To enable the industry to properly inform consumers both during the transitional period and another 18 months after its end, food business operators may use a statement on the labels informing consumers that, from a certain date, no fruit juices contain added sugars.

For products manufactured from two or more fruits, except where lemon and/or lime juice are used, the product name shall be composed of a list of the fruits used, in descending order of the volume of the fruit juices or purées included, as indicated in the list of ingredients.

In the case of products manufactured from three or more fruits, the indication of the fruits used may be replaced by the words several fruits or a similar wording, or by the number of fruits used.

In the case of concentrated fruit juice, if the product is not intended for delivery to the final consumer, the labelling must indicate the presence and quantity of added lemon juice, lime juice or acidifying agents on the packaging, on a label attached to the packaging, or on an accompanying document.

The Directive lists the raw materials which may be used to manufacture juice and nectar, and also the additives which may be authorised, subject to the Directive on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs.

The minimum content of fruit juice and/or fruit purée in fruit nectar must conform to the levels indicated in the Directive and must be stated in the product labelling.

Background

This Directive forms part of the programme to simplify certain vertical Directives relating to foodstuffs and align them to the Lisbon Treaty. It applies without prejudice to the general provisions relating to the labelling of foodstuffs.

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2001/112/EC

12.1.2002

11.7.2003

OJ L 10 of 12.1.2002

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1182/2007

6.11.2007

-

OJ L 273 of 17.10.2007

Directive 2009/106/EC

22.8.2009

1.1.2011

OJ L 212 of 15.8.2009

Directive 2012/112/EC

27.4.2012

28.10.2013

OJ L 115 of27.4.2012

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2001/112/EC have been incorporated into the basic text.This consolidated version is for information only.

Last updated: 12.11.2013

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