The European Commission (EC) has adopted the previously reported lists of flavoring substances for use by the food industry in applications including soft drinks, confectionery, cereals, cakes and yogurts.
The list can be accessed here.
National enforcement authorities will ensure that food containing any unauthorized flavoring substances is withdrawn from the market and will inform the EC and other member states via the EU's Rapid Alert System for food and feed (RASFF).
The EC adoption has two components, according to its official announcement:
- The first Regulation1 provides for a new EU wide list of flavoring substances which can be used in food and will apply from 22 April 2013, giving time for the EU food industry to adapt to the new rules. All flavoring substances not in the list will be prohibited after a phasing out period of 18 months.
- The second Regulation2 concerns transitional measures for other flavorings such as flavorings made from non-food sources and will apply from 22 October 2012.
The new list includes over 2,100 authorized flavoring substances, with an additional 400 that will remain on the market until the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concludes its evaluation. According to the EC, "These have been used for a long time and have already been assessed as safe by other scientific bodies."
The announcement continues:
The authorized uses of flavoring substances will be listed according to the category of food to which they may be added. 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 flavoring substances are authorized in food.
A flavoring substance may only be authorized if its use meets the following conditions: it does not, on the basis of the available scientific evidence, pose risks to the health of the consumer at the level of the proposed use; its use does not mislead the consumer. When authorizing flavorings other relevant factors may also be considered. These could include amongst others ethical, traditional or environmental factors.