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European Commission Orders to Remove Perilla Aldehyde Flavoring

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Following earlier findings from The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Commission has determined flavoring substance p-mentha-1,8-dien-7-al, also known as perilla aldehyde, does not comply with the general conditions of use for flavorings and should be removed from its list of approved flavorings. 

The flavoring substance p-mentha-1,8-dien-7-al, a chemical which occurs naturally in citrus peels, was included in the list as a flavoring substance under evaluation for which additional scientific data must be submitted. The European Food Safety Authority evaluated the submitted data and concluded in its scientific opinion of June 24 that p-mentha-1,8-dien-7-al is genotoxic in vivo and therefore its use as a flavoring substance raises a safety concern. Several days after the EFSA issued an opinion citing citrus flavor perilla aldehyde as a genotoxic concern, The International Organization of the Flavor Industry (IOFI) said it "respectfully" disagreed—and has the scientific data to support its claims.

However, the European Commission has officially concluded that "accordingly the use of p-mentha-1,8-dien-7-al (FL-no 05.117) does not comply with the general conditions of use for flavorings set out in Article 4(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008. Consequently, that substance should be removed from the list without delay in order to protect human health."

The Commission said it should use the urgency procedure for the removal of a substance which raises a safety concern from the Union list.

"Due to low use levels and the low total amount that p-mentha-1,8-dien-7-al has been added to foods in the Union, the presence of that substance in food does not raise immediate safety concerns. Therefore, taking into account also technical reasons, transitional periods should be laid down to cover food containing the flavoring substance p-mentha-1,8-dien-7-al (FL-no 05.117), which has been placed on the market or dispatched from third countries for the Union, before the date of entry into force of this Regulation," the Commission said. 

The Commission ordered that foods to which the flavoring substance p-mentha-1,8-dien-7-al has been added which were lawfully placed on the market before the date of entry into force of this regulation may be marketed until their date of minimum durability or use by date. Foods imported into the Union to which the flavoring substance p-mentha-1,8-dien-7-al has been added may be marketed until their date of minimum durability or use by date where the importer of such food can demonstrate that they were dispatched from the third country concerned and were en route to the Union before the date of entry into force of this regulation.