The definitions of food additives are different in many countries.
The definition of food additives by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and WHO (World Health Organization) is that food additives are non-nutrients intentionally added to foodstuffs in small quantities to improve food appearance, flavor and organizational structure or storage.
In the European Union, food additives are substances added intentionally to foodstuffs to perform certain technological functions, for example to colour, to sweeten or to help preserve foods. All food additives are identified by an E number. Food additives are always included in the ingredient lists of foods in which they are used. The most common additives to appear on food labels are antioxidants (to prevent deterioration caused by oxidation), colours, emulsifiers, stabilisers, gelling agents and thickeners, preservatives and sweeteners.
In European Union, the Spirulina Extract (Phycocyanin) is not as a additive, but as a natural food, and its using quantity is unlimited.
In the United States, food additives are substances added intentionally to become food ingredients or affect the characteristics of food products directly or indirectly. In USA and other developed countries, Spirulina Extract (Phycocyanin) is the only one who has been approved as natural edible blue pigment, and widely used in food additive field.
In China, food additives are synthetic or natural substances added to improve food quality,color, smell, flavor, resist-decay, keeping fresh and producing technological. Also, they include nutrient supplement, food flavor, bodying agent in gumbased candy,processing agent in food industry. In China, the Spirulina Extract (Phycocyanin) is as a new food additive, it has been payed more and more attentions.