Fabian Demicoli

ATTN Wine producers: Use of WINE FINING AGENTA from egg and milk

 The labelling of egg and milk when used as fining agents in wine is currently not covered by a permanent exemption from the allergen labelling requirements under Article 6 of Directive 2000/13/EC (as amended).

 

Egg and milk based wine fining agents have received several temporary exemptions from allergen labelling; the current exemption under Directive 2007/68/EC as last amended by Regulation No. 1266/2010 will come to an end on 30 June 2012. From that day onwards when egg or milk based fining agents have been used to make wine, they will need to be declared on the labelling unless proven to be absent in the final product.

The Commission has agreed the proposed amendments to Regulation (EC) No. 607/2009 which will lay down detailed rules for labelling wine. The agreed Regulation will require wine to be labelled when egg and milk fining agents used in the production of wine and are detected in the finished product using an appropriate method of detection. The method of analysis would need to be capable of determining absence (below 0.25mg/litre) of egg or milk protein in the wine for the purposes of deciding whether or not the product needs allergen labelling in accordance with Article 6 of Directive 2000/13/EC.

The requirement to indicate allergenic ingredients on label will apply to wines that have used egg or milk in their manufacturing process and have detectable levels of egg or milk protein present and were placed on the market or labelled after 30 June 2012. This includes imports.

Harvests in 2011 and earlier

  • All wine produced prior to the 2012 harvest is covered by the existing exemption as set out in Regulation No.1266/2010 if it has been placed on the EU market or labelled before 30 June 2012. This includes wines from harvests before 2012, wines which are in cask in the EU and are maturing prior to bottling, because such wines can be considered to have been placed on the market in the sense of being held for the purpose of sale.

2012 Harvests

  • Southern Hemisphere wines will not need to be labelled with such information if placed on the market in the EU prior to 30 June 2012.
  • Southern Hemisphere wines will need to be labelled with allergen information if placed on the EU market on or after 30 June 2012 and appropriate testing to determine the absence of egg or milk protein has not been performed or egg and milk are shown to be present.
  • Northern Hemisphere wines will need to be labelled with allergen information if appropriate testing to determine absence of egg or milk protein has not been performed or egg and milk are shown to be present and the wine has been placed on the EU market on or after 30 June 2012.

Wine used as an ingredient in food

The exemption for allergen labelling for wine used as an ingredient in food would not be covered by the provisions of this Regulation. Therefore wine fined with egg or milk which is used in food would need to be declared on the labelling regardless of the level at which they are present.

The Regulation was published on Friday 29 June 2012 with the Commission issuing guidance on that day also. GRTU will provide another update once it has received further information from the Commission.

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