The composition of fruit juices, concentrated fruit juices, dehydrated fruit juices and fruit nectars, their reserved names, their manufacture and labelling characteristics are subject to specific Community rules under Council Directive 2001/112/EC
relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption. These products are defined on the basis of their composition and preparation processes so as to ensure that the terms are used correctly and not misleading. The Directive also defines particular designations used in certain countries and languages. The text lists the raw materials which may be used to manufacture juice and nectar, the minimum content of fruit juice and/or fruit purée in fruit nectar as well as all authorised additives.
This Directive was amended in August 2009 by the Commission Directive 2009/106/EC in order to be adapted to technical progress taking account of developments in relevant international standards, in particular the Codex Standard for fruit juices and nectars (Codex Stan 247-2005) and the AIJN Code of Practice for evaluation of quality and authenticity of juices. The European Commission submitted a new proposal for the revision of the Directive in 2011 in order to bring it closer to the Codex Standard, but also to the current practices in Europe. The text was formally ratified by the Council of Ministers on 8 March 2012 and published in the EU Official Journal L 115 of 27 April 2012 as Directive 2012/12/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 April 2012 amending Council Directive 2001/112/EC relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption. The legislation is a Directive which means that it is not directly applicable and has to be fully transposed into Member States laws. Major changes resulting from the latest revision are definitions of juices from concentrate and not from concentrate, the prohibition to add sugar to fruit juices, and alignment / addition Brix values for some fruits.