The European scientific panel on food additives, flavourings, processing aids and materials in contact with food, which advises the EC on chemically defined flavouring substances, was recently asked to evaluate 18 flavouring substances in the flavouring group evaluation (FGE) 17.
These 18 flavouring substances belong to chemical group 24, Annex I of the Commission Regulation EC No 1565/2000.
The panel found that while adequate specifications have been provided for the 15 flavouring substances, information on chirality - which describes a molecule that is not super-imposable on its mirror image - was missing for three of the substances.
The panel said therefore that any final evaluation of three of the flavour substances [FL-no: 14.113, 14.148 and 14.161] cannot be made without further information.
The 18 flavour substances were all pyrazine derivatives. Pyrazine is a hygroscopic white solid and is an aromatic nitrogen.
Three of these derivatives were quinoxalines. These are complex nitrogenous bases obtained by the union of certain aniline derivatives with glyoxal or with certain ketones.
In its evaluation, the scientific panel used the maximised survey-derived daily intakes (MSDIs) approach to estimate the per capita intakes of the flavouring substances in Europe.
However, when the scientific panel examined the information provided by the European flavouring industry on the use levels in various foods, it appeared obvious that the MSDI approach in a number of cases would grossly underestimate the intake by regular consumers of products flavoured at the use level reported by the industry.
In consequence, the scientific panel had reservations about the data on use and use levels provided and the intake estimates obtained by the MSDI approach.
The panel therefore decided to perform an estimate of the daily intakes per person using a modified theoretical added maximum daily intake (mTAMDI) approach based on the normal use levels reported by industry.
According to the default MSDI approach, the 15 flavouring substances in this group have intakes in Europe from 0.0024 to 0.12 microgram/capita/day. These are below the threshold of concern value for both structural class II (540 microgram/person/day) and structural class III (90 microgram/person/day) substances.