Setting priorities for safety evaluation of flavoring materials

Over the past few decades several attempts have been made, on national and international levels, to regulate the use of flavoring materials in the framework of the traditional legislation of food additives. Most legislators have been baffled by the size and the complexity of the project. Moreover, many have indicated that the regulation of flavoring materials is of relatively low urgency. The reasons for this situation include the following.

--The number of known flavoring materials is much larger than that of all other food additives combined. --The levels at which flavoring materials occur, or are added, are relatively low. Their flavor impact limits the risk of an incidental overdose by making the food unpalatable. --The vast majority of flavoring materials occur widely in traditional foods. They are not “new.” --The chemical structure of flavoring materials is generally of the type that may be expected to occur in foods as a result of biogenetic processes.

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