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Summaries of EU Legislation

Edible caseins and caseinates

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Edible caseins and caseinates

Caseins * and caseinates * intended for human consumption are a type of lactoprotein (proteins founds in milk). Their composition and manufacturing characteristics have been harmonised at European level. The Commission has proposed a revision of the legislation (Directive 83/417/EEC) to establish a list of authorized enzymes in the manufacturing of caseins and harmonise their labelling. Enzymes authorised in the manufacturing of caseins must comply with the provisions laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1332/2008 on food enzymes.


Directive 83/417/EEC Council Directive 25/1983/EEC of 25 July 1983 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to certain lactoproteins (caseins and caseinates) intended for human consumption [See amending acts].


This directive defines the lactoproteins to which it applies and reserves the names corresponding to those definitions. These names must be used in trade to designate products conforming to the rules of the directive

The products defined by the directive may not be placed on the market unless they conform to the definitions and rules laid down in the directive. Products which are not covered by the directive must be named and labelled in such a way that the buyer is not misled as to their nature, quality or use

The composition characteristics and processing specifications of caseins and caseinates are laid down and included in the definition of the products concerned

In addition, caseins and caseinates are subjected to heat treatment for health and hygiene reasons.


Without prejudice to Community provisions on the labelling of foodstuffs, labelling of caseins and caseinates must include:

  • for caseinates: the cation or cations;
  • for mixtures: the words "mixture of…" the products which make up the mixture, the cation or cations for caseinates, and the protein content in the case of mixtures containing caseinates.
  • the net quantity expressed in kilograms or grams;
  • the name or company name and address of the manufacturer or packager, or seller established within the Community;
  • the name of the country of origin for products imported from third countries;
  • the manufacturing date or an indication identifying the batch or lot.

The directive also requires that the indications on the label should also be easily understood by consumers. (For further information concerning the use of the languages for consumer information).

Purity criteria

Purity criteria for edible caseins and caseinates and sampling procedures are adopted by the Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission

Free circulation and safeguard clause

The directive ensures the free movement of edible caseins and caseinates in the EU, except in cases relating to the protection of human health, the prevention of fraud (cf. the case of misleading or comparative advertising) and the protection of industrial and commercial property.

Committee procedure

The Commission is assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (established by Regulation (EC) No 807/2003).


The methods of analysis necessary for checking the composition of caseins and caseinates were covered in Commission Directive 85/503/EEC. Subsequently, it adopted Directive 86/424/EEC, laying down Community methods of sampling for their chemical analysis (cf. "Related acts" below).

Key terms used in the Act

  • Caseins: the principal protein constituent of milk, washed and dried, insoluble in water, and obtained from skimmed milk by precipitation, either by the addition of acid, or by microbial acidification, or by using rennet, or by using other milk-coagulating enzymes.
  • Caseinates: products obtained by drying caseins treated with neutralising agents.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 83/417/EEC



OJ L 26.8.1983

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 807/2003



OJ L 122, 16.5.2003.

Amendment of annexes

ANNEXE I – Edible caseins: Regulation (EC) No 1332/2008 [Official Journal L 354 of 31.12.2008].


First Directive 85/503/EEC of the Commission, of 25 October 1985 on methods of analysis for edible caseins and caseinates [Official Journal L 11 of 20.11.1985]. This directive lays down Community methods of analysis which must be followed when testing edible caseins and caseinates.

First Directive 86/424/EEC of the Commission of 15 July 1985 laying down Community methods of sampling for chemical analysis of edible caseins and caseinates [Official Journal L 243 of 28.08.1986]. This directive establishes sampling procedures.

Last updated: 28.02.2009