Food Safety Regulatory Limits

Limits for Food Additives

Food Additives

Food additives are chemical substances which are intentionally added to food, typically in very small amounts, in order to serve specific technological functions (e.g. preservatives, colouring matter, emulsifiers etc.). Food additives can be derived from both natural or artificially synthesised sources. They do not refer to foreign substances arising from contamination or improper handling of food. 

Only permitted food additives are allowed to be used in food for sale in Singapore.

Food businesses may refer to the following resources for the list of permitted food additives and requirements.

Read more about Food Additives here

Use of preservatives in Kueh

Kueh is a common local snack that may be sweet or savoury. Direct addition of Class II chemical preservatives is not allowed for kueh made of rice, tapioca, corn or bean, and do not have fillings or toppings (e.g. pumpkin kueh) This is because such kueh is usually intended to have a shorter shelf-life and is sold and consumed within the same day (or the next day if refrigerated). They are also typically stored at room temperature.

However, some kueh may contain fillings and toppings (e.g. ang ku kueh, soon kueh, kueh dadar etc). As the fillings and toppings are manufactured in bulk for use over a period of time,  permitted Class II chemical preservatives may be added to the kueh fillings and toppings at levels which do not exceed the maximum levels specified in the Fourth Schedule of the Food Regulations. However, direct addition of Class II chemical preservatives in the manufacturing of the kueh  itself is not allowed.

Some products such as yu char kueh, kueh bakar and kueh suji may have the word “kueh” in their name, but would be considered flour confectionery as they are similar to pastries, western cakes and biscuits. Direct addition of Class II chemical preservatives within the maximum limits specified in the Fourth Schedule to such products is allowed.

You may refer to the flowchart below to determine if a product is regarded as a flour confectionery or a kueh, and to determine if Class II chemical preservatives are allowed to be added to the different types of filling and topping used in the kueh.


Find out more about preservatives usage and limits in Kueh here :