Food Chemicals Codex (FCC)

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The FCC is a compendium of internationally recognized standards for the purity and identity of food ingredients. It features approximately 1,200 monographs, including food-grade chemicals, processing aids, foods (such as vegetable oils, fructose, whey, and amino acids), flavoring agents, vitamins, and functional food ingredients (such as lycopene, olestra, and short chain fructooligosaccharides). The FCC also supports ingredients such as sucrose and essential oils that are not commonly found in other food additive standards resources.

Published since 1966, the FCC plays a key role in safeguarding commerce and public health by providing essential criteria and analytical methods to authenticate and determine the quality of food ingredients. FCC standards are beneficial to all players in the food industry.

  • They are used as agreed standards between suppliers and manufacturers in ongoing purchasing and supply decisions and transactions.
  • They can aid manufacturers in distinguishing genuine products from inferior or adulterated ingredients and substances, thereby helping to make the food supply chain safer and assuring consumers of the quality of the food products they eat.

USP acquired the FCC in 2006 and has instituted a new timely, transparent revision process through the FCC Forum. (Learn more about the development process.) The FCC is published every two years in print and online formats and is offered as a subscription that includes a main edition and intervening Supplements.

FCC Contents: Monographs, Methods, and More

The FCC has two main sections: monographs and appendices. Monographs are listed alphabetically and generally cover a single ingredient. Monographs, where applicable, provide information about each ingredient such as

  • Chemical Structure
  • Chemical Formula
  • Chemical Weight
  • INS Number
  • CAS Numbers
  • Function
  • Definition
  • Packaging
  • Storage
  • Labeling Requirements
  • IR Spectra

There are also several "family" monographs, which cover a group of substances. These include "Enzyme Preparations," "Food Starch," and "Spice Oleoresins." In addition, the specification is included and consists of a series of tests, procedures for the tests, and acceptance criteria. Monographs may also specify USP Reference Standards or other materials needed to perform the tests. The FCC's appendices contain step-by-step guidance for general physical tests, chemical tests, specific tests, and apparatus use, as well as useful information for stakeholders such as food ingredient Good Manufacturing Practices.

Click here to view a sample monograph and the Table of Contents.

Regulatory Recognition and International Impact

The FCC is published in the United States, but regulatory agencies, manufacturers, vendors, and other users of food ingredients recognize it worldwide. View current United States and international regulatory recognition information.