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The Consumption Ratio was introduced in 1981. It was discussed in detail in papers in this journal and in Food and Chemicals Toxicology. The purpose of the Consumption Ratio is to put the need for safety evaluation of flavoring substances in proper perspective against the assumed safety of traditional food consumption.
The Consumption Ratio compares the average intake of added flavoring materials to the quantities consumed as unavoidable components of traditional foods. The Consumption Ratio is defined as the ratio between the quantity of a flavoring material consumed as an ingredient of basic and traditional foods, and the quantity of the same flavoring material consumed as a food additive by the same population over the same period. The Consumption Ratio is a number between 0 (for flavoring materials not occurring in food) and infinity (for flavoring materials which occur in food and are not used as additives).
If the Consumption Ratio of a flavoring material is more than 1, this substance is consumed predominantly as an ingredient of traditional foods, and it can be called “Food Predominant.” This has been indicated by a + in the Tables. If the Consumption Ratio is over 10, then the use as added flavor adds on average less than 10% to the total intake of the substance, an almost insignificant increase. In this case the Food Predominance has been marked as ++.