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Food Safety: EU harmonises the use of flavouring substances


At a meeting of the Standing Committee (today/yesterday) on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH), Member States endorsed a Commission proposal on the establishment of a European Union list of permitted flavouring substances and a transitional measure on other flavourings.

While flavourings have a long history of safe use in a wide variety of food, consumers and companies currently face divergent national provisions. These two new pieces of legislation, which will enter into force once the comitology procedure will have concluded, will harmonise and create clear rules for the use of these substances within the single market. This first Regulation establishes a new EU wide list of flavouring substances which can be used in food. It will apply 6 months after its adoption providing sufficient time for the EU food industry to adapt to the new rules. The EU food industry will only be able to use flavouring substances that are published on the EU list. All flavouring substances not in the list will be prohibited after a phasing out period. Transparency will be improved as the list will also be available in an on-line database allowing consumers, food businesses and national food control authorities to easily identify which flavouring substances are authorised in food. The second Regulation concerns transitional measures for other flavourings such as flavourings made from non-food sources which will be evaluated and authorised at later stage. This Regulation will apply immediately after its adoption. The establishment of the European Union list marks a major step in the implementation of framework Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008 on flavourings adopted in December 2008 and is the result of important work carried out by the European Food Safety Authority and other scientific bodies in assessing the safety of around 2800 flavouring substances.

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Source: EU Commission