The Japanese government has approved a series of additives that will make U.S. sales of dairy products easier in that country. Two additives — nitrous oxide and calcium stearate — were cleared this spring, and two more — natamycin and hydroxypropyl cellulose — are slated for this summer.

The action comes after much support from the U.S. Dairy Export Council. It took eight years of data related to physiochemical characteristics and specification, effectiveness, safety and usage of the dairy-related additives in the United States and the European Union, as well as standards for use, before Japanese officials decided to accept dairy products that contain these additives.

“It was particularly difficult to secure approval for nitrous oxide, which is used as a propellant in canned whipped cream,” says Diane Lewis, USDEC vice president, market access and regulatory affairs.  USDEC needed to compile all data previously reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when the agency first approved nitrous exide in the United States. “This included thousands of references,” says Lewis.

She adds that this is only the beginning. “USDEC has identified 15 additional food additives used by U.S. dairy suppliers and has completed the first phase of the approval process by compiling the science, research and regulations supporting their safety. As each additive is cleared, export opportunities in the Japanese market incrementally grow.”

U.S. Dairy Export Council