Flavouring substances: Are yours on the list?

Flavouring substances: Are yours on the list?


Author: Ron Reid

On 1 October 2012, the EU adopted two new regulations on flavourings used in a variety of food and drink products.

The EU has now evaluated flavouring substances and created a database listing those substances deemed fit.


The list has been created to:

  • increase consumer protection
  • bring clarity to the industry
  • promote transparency

How do flavourings get on the list?

A flavouring substance will only be authorised for inclusion on the list if its use meets both of 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 authorising flavourings other 'relevant factors' may also be considered, which could include ethical, traditional or environmental factors.

Key dates

The regulations come into force on 22 October 2012, and the list will apply as of 22 April 2012. Flavouring substances not on the list will be banned after an 18-month phasing out period.

What happens if flavourings are used that are not on the list?

Once the phasing out period ends, enforcement authorities must ensure that non-approved substances are withdrawn from the market.

Enforcement authorities also have the power to make referrals to the EU Commission via the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), which could lead to EU-wide negative publicity for those in breach of the regulations, product recalls and prosecution of offenders.