Food Standards

Helping to ensure that consumers can trust dairy products produced around the world

Food production and trade are a complex, growing business. IDF work around food standards covers mostly the work of Codex Alimentarius on international standards for milk and milk products, to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

IDF has served as technical advisor to Codex since 1963, the year it was established, and strongly supported the now adjourned sine die Codex Committee on Milk & Milk Products, which originated from an IDF Committee of Experts, and which developed Codex Standards of Identity for dairy products.

Codex also develops a number of texts on food labelling, methods of analysis and sampling, food import and export, and certification systems that apply horizontally to all food products including milk and milk products.

Codex defines milk as follows: ‘Milk is the normal mammary secretion of milking animals obtained from one or more milkings without either addition to it or extraction from it, intended for consumption as liquid milk or for further processing’ (see Codex General Standard for the Use of Dairy Terms CXS 206-1999).

IDF also closely monitors the activities of other Codex Committees, including those involved in the development of new standards relevant to the dairy sector, texts or guidelines about safety practices applicable to dairy, as well as the use of terms and labelling in dairy products, and to ensure that regional standards do not negatively impact the International Codex standard within the dairy sector.

Impactful work with Codex

IDF monitors the work of the Codex Committee on Food Additives in so far as it affects additives, processing aids, carriers, flavours, and colours needed in dairy products, and provides technical advice, based on feedback from IDF members on behalf of the dairy sector.

One of the major challenges for manufacturers, importers and exporters in recent times has been the discrepancy between two sets of references for the additives that are allowed in foods.

IDF has been working closely with Codex to align the General Standard for Food Additives (CCFA) with current food additives provisions in the Codex dairy. This is therefore an important effort that will have a positive impact on the dairy sector, and is expected to be completed in 2021.

Part of IDF’s role is to translate science into something easy to understand, supporting understanding of the technicalities

Learn more about food standards

The breadth of issues IDF covers in its work is extensive. Find out more about the work we do.

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Related reports & publications

IDF provides a permanent source of authoritative scientific and other information on a whole range of topics relevant to the dairy sector.

Related news & insights

IDF provides a permanent source of authoritative scientific and other information on a whole range of topics relevant to the dairy sector.