Business sectors

Food and Agriculture

Technical Bodies

European standardization in the field of food and agriculture contributes to improving the levels of food safety and protecting the health of consumers. CEN provides validated test methods that are used by the food industry and by the competent public authorities for official control purposes, and by companies producing food and feed for internal checks.

Many of the standards adopted by CEN are developed in response to formal requests from the European Commission: they play a valuable role in supporting the implementation of relevant European legislation.

The majority (around 70%) of European Standards in this field are identical to international standards, thanks to the close cooperation between CEN and ISO. Having test methods that are recognized internationally is especially important for food companies that want to sell their products markets all around the world.

20 Technical Bodies responsible

CEN/SS C01 Food Products
CEN/TC 172 Pulp, paper and board
CEN/TC 194 Utensils in contact with food
CEN/TC 275 Food analysis - Horizontal methods
CEN/TC 302 Milk and milk products - Methods of sampling and analysis
CEN/TC 307 Oilseeds, vegetable and animal fats and oils and their by-products - Methods of sampling and analysis
CEN/TC 327 Animal feeding stuffs - Methods of sampling and analysis
CEN/TC 338 Cereal and cereal products
CEN/TC 453 Dietary supplements and sports food free of doping substances
CEN/TC 455 Plant Biostimulants
CEN/TC 460 Food Authenticity
CEN/TC 463 Microbiology of the food chain
CEN/TC 466 Circularity and recyclability of fishing gear and aquaculture equipment
CEN/WS 076 Batch-based Calculation of Sustainability Impact for Captured White Fish products Acronym: WhiteFish BCSI
CEN/WS 083 Mechanically Separated Poultry Meat (MSM)
CEN/WS 086 Authenticity in the feed and food chain - General principles and basic requirements
CEN/WS 096 Mapping of future needs of standardisation in the paper and board sector
CEN/WS 109 Good practice recommendations for making management recommendations tailored for the EU fleet operating outside European waters
CEN/WS ClimeFish CEN Workshop on ClimeFish
CEN/WS CROP Methodology to quantify the global agricultural crop footprint including soil affection

Food fraud is not to be confused with food safety. Food safety issues always have a biochemical component that, at least potentially, can be detected by analytical methods and instruments.

On the other hand, food authenticity and food fraud are areas of growing importance in standardization and the number of projects and initiatives addressing them is growing too. New standards, but also new legislation, will require a common understanding of words. As food authenticity is multi-disciplinary in nature and many words have different meanings in different contexts, CEN/TC 460 'Food authenticity' wants to facilitate coherent communication between different disciplines.

In 2024, CEN/TC 460 will work on the draft European Standard prEN 17972 'Food authenticity and fraud — Concepts, terms, and definitions'. This standard aims to be the main source of terms and definitions regarding food authenticity and fraud in Europe. It will also be the terminological base for all future standards within the food authenticity.


The interest in algae and algae-based products or intermediates has increased significantly in Europe: algae represent a valuable source of important nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and several pigments. Materials based on algae are suitable for use in a wide range of applications, from food and feed to other sectors, such as textiles, cosmetics, biopolymers, biofuel and fertilizer/biostimulants. In this context, standardization plays an important role in promoting the use of this type of materials.

CEN/TC 454 ‘Algae and algae products’ develops European Standards under Standardization Request M/547 on algae and algae-based products or intermediates.

Following the appropriate preliminary studies, in 2024, the committee will finalize EN 17908, which specifies a laboratory method for the determination of the total lipid content in micro- and macroalgae using the Ryckebosch-Foubert method. Good experiences are obtained with the help of the Ryckebosch-Foubert method, which makes use of an extraction protocol with chloroform-methanol 1:1 as a solvent. Therefore, the method will be used as starting protocol for the development of the new standard.

Furthermore, the TC will work on the development of seven new standards on topics such as protein, amino acid, polysaccharides, fatty acids, inorganic arsenic, carotenoid and phycobiliprotein.

Finally, the terms and definitions standard EN 17399 ‘Algae and algae products - Terms and definitions’ will be revised to keep up with the latest developments.



In 2024, CEN/TC 338 'Cereal and cereal products' will be working on a new European standard, EN 15731. Following a collaborative study conducted to complete data for CEN/TS 15731:2008 'Cereals and cereal products - Common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) - Determination of alveograph properties of dough at adapted hydration from commercial or test flours and test milling methodology', the TC decided to incorporate the study results and to convert the CEN Technical Specification (TS) into a full European Standard (EN) on the same topic. The standard will include a stage 1 on the preparation of the wheat grain and a stage 2 on the milling process itself.


The focus of CEN/TC 275 ‘Food analysis - Horizontal methods’ is to develop standards offering detection methods to estimate contaminants, pesticides, allergens and toxins, thus ensuring food security.
In 2024, CEN/TC 275 will work on a series of standards for the determination of contaminants in foodstuffs by cold vapour atomic fluorescence spectrometry (for instance, EN 13806).

In addition, the TC will also work on a new standard determining the minimum performance requirements for quantitative measurement of a series of food allergens: milk, egg, peanut, hazelnut, almond, walnut, cashew, pecan nut, brazil nut, pistachio nut, macadamia nut, wheat, lupine, sesame, mustard, soy, celery, fish, molluscs, and crustaceans. 

Standards published by CEN and CENELEC in the sector

  • CEN and CENELEC Portfolio of deliverables: 664 ENs + 114 other deliverables
  • Work items currently in the Work Programme: 102 ENs + 4 other deliverables

Standardization requests from EC/EFTA

  • M/547 – Algae and algae-based products or intermediaries