EFSA clears flavourings

- Last updated on GMT

A risk assessment of 1000 flavouring substances is underway at
Europe's food agency with a first slice of 77 substances cleared on
genotoxic and carcinogenic criteria.

Preparing for incoming legislation, scientific experts at the European Food Safety Authority have until July 2005 to assess the flavourings that will then provide the Commission with a positive list of flavouring substances for use in or on foods.

All 77 flavouring substances passed the evaluation process when applying the method laid down in legislation and previously utilised by the former Scientific Committee on Food (SCF).

"But in carrying out an evaluation of exposure levels among regular consumers of foods containing these flavourings, the panel considered that, for 33 of these substances, more specific data were required in order to pursue the assessment,"​ highlighted EFSA​.

Their request for more data stems from a reconsideration by the AFC (Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Materials in Contact with Food) panel in estimating levels of exposure to the flavouring substances in order to more precisely calculate exposure levels among regular consumers of foods containing flavourings.

At a meeting in July 2004, the panel decided to supplement the stepwise evaluation procedure previously used by the former SCF. This method was based on exposure estimates derived from annual production volumes. The AFC decided to calculate potential exposure to these flavourings, based on levels added to foods, as reported by industry.

"This is in line with the SCF view that other exposure estimates mightneed to be taken into account in the future,"​ says the panel.

The flavouring group evaluations investigated: acetals of branched- and straight-chain aliphatic saturated primary alcohols and branched- and straight-chain saturated aldehydes, and an orthoester of formic acid, from chemical groups 1 and 2 (CommissionRegulation (EC) No 1565/2000 of 18 July 2000).

And in addition, straight- and branched-chain aliphatic unsaturated primary alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids, and esters from chemical groups 1 and 4 (Commission Regulation (EC) No 1565/2000 of 18 July 2000).

Related topics: Policy, Flavours and colours

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