The Significance of GRAS and Nature-Identical for Worldwide Harmonization of Flavor Regulation

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The three main pillars on which food regulations of all developed countries are based are:

l Safety of food and the protection of public health;

l Information to the consumer; and

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l Fair competition between manufacturers.

Food Safety and Public Health

The first issue, food safety and public health, which is usually of predominant importance for food additives, has hardly ever been a problem as far as flavoring substances are concerned. The main reasons for this exceptional position are:

l Flavoring substances are identical to or closely related to the flavorings occurring in traditional, commonly consumed food.

l They are widely consumed in very small dosages.

l The several hundred that are being used in the largest quantities have been evaluated for safety, and no major concerns have come up.

l The risk for incidental signicant overdosage is eliminated hy their overpowering flavor strength. Their sensory threshold is far below their threshold of toxicity.

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