27 July 2015 — Safety and Health

Codex Alimentarius: new standards for the vitivinicultural sector

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The 38th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission met in Geneva (Switzerland) on 6-11 July 2015. The session was presided by Ms Awilo Ochieng Pernet (Switzerland), President of the Commission, in the presence of 140 Member States, 1 Member Organisation, and 33 governmental and non-governmental international organisations.

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During this meeting, the Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted several standards, some of which have a direct impact on the international vitivinicultural sector.

With regard to additives in wine (category 14.2.3), the Member States of the Codex Alimentarius approved the inclusion of carbon dioxide among those subject to GMPs, with the following note: “The CO2 content in finished still wine shall not exceed 4000 mg/kg at 20°C”.

Four additives, regarding the "Grape wines" category in particular, were added to the priority list of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee (JECFA) for toxicological assessment. These were, namely, tannins, yeast mannoproteins (INS 455), potassium bisulphite (INS 228) and metatartaric acid (INS 353).

Furthermore, the Commission adopted a number of Maximum Residue Limits for pesticides used in the production of table grapes or dried grapes.

The existing limits for these pesticides, listed below, were revoked and replaced by the following limits:

Note: With regard to MRLs, the OIV Secretariat has put together a list of online links on the website www.oiv.int. The list includes information available concerning maximum residue limits applicable to grapes (table, wine and dried grapes) and to wines (where relevant).

This information is based on:

  • notifications from Member Countries, as requested in adopted OIV resolutions,
  • notifications made by countries to the WTO,
  • other sources: Codex Alimentarius, EU, the USDA MRL database.

The full report of the 38th session of the Codex Alimentarius may be viewed online at http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports. The next Codex Alimentarius Commission session will take place from 27 June to 1 July 2016.