The ninety-first meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) was convened by video-conference from 1 to 12 February 2021. The meeting was opened on behalf of the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) by Mr Jamie Morrison (Director of the Food Systems and Food Safety Division) and on behalf of the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) by Mr Kim Petersen (Programme Manager, Department of Nutrition and Food Safety). Mr Morrison in his opening remarks welcomed all meeting participants, and stressed that, despite the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the work of JECFA had progressed and continued to provide sound scientific advice to Codex and the Member States, largely thanks to the efforts and work of the JECFA experts. He reminded the participants about their responsibility to impart the most unbiased and best scientific advice possible, and that they had been invited to serve solely in their capacity as scientific experts to provide sound scientific advice and not as representatives of their employer or country. He closed by reiterating his sincere gratitude to all participants for providing their time and expertise to this JECFA meeting.