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Food flavourings

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Food flavourings

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008 on flavourings for use in and on foods

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THE REGULATION DO?

It lays down general requirements for the safe use of flavourings* in food.

It contains, in an annex, a list of approved substances.

It sets out the labelling requirements that must be respected.

KEY POINTS

Flavourings, on the basis of the scientific evidence available, must not pose a safety risk to consumers or mislead them.

The EU adopted a list of approved flavourings on 1 October 2012. Only these may be used and sold in the EU. The list is periodically updated.

The regulation contains a list of substances, such as hydrocyanic acid, which may not be added to food.

Maximum levels are set for certain substances, such as estragol, naturally present in flavourings in items as varied as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, chewing gum, soups and fish.

Flavourings sold from business to business or to the general public have to comply with specific labelling rules. For instance, their package or container must state either ‘for food’ or ‘restricted use in food’ .

The term ‘natural’ to describe a flavouring may only be used for substances derived directly from animal or vegetable material.

The European Commission may ask producers or users of flavourings to inform it of the quantities they use in any 12-month period.

The legislation does not apply to flavourings with an exclusively sweet (e.g. sugar), salty (e.g. salt) or sour taste, raw foods or mixtures such as fresh, dried or frozen spices and/or herbs, or for teas and infusions.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It entered into force on 20 January 2009.

BACKGROUND

Food flavourings: EU Rules (European Commission)

Flavourings (European Food Safety Authority)

KEY TERM

* Flavourings: substances used to improve or modify the smell and taste of food. Common EU rules and standards ensure they do not pose a threat to human health and may be used in any EU country.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on flavourings and certain food ingredients with flavouring properties for use in and on foods and amending Regulation (EC) No 1601/91 of the Council, Regulations (EC) No 2232/96 and (EC) No 110/2008 and Directive 2000/13/EC (OJ L 354, 31.12.2008, pp. 34–50)

Successive amendments and changes to the Annexes of Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 26.11.2015

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