Flavors deemed unable to be assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) could still see themselves permitted for use on a final European Union Flavours list an industry expert has said.
Commenting on the developments in the European Union’s (EU) regulation for additives, flavours and enzymes, EAS Food Law Manager Xavier Lavigne said that the European Commission (Commission) appears to have taken a pragmatic approach to the 353 flavours already on the market that have not been assessed by EFSA so far or for which EFSA has requested additional scientific data, stating that the Commission and EU member states will most likely decide the fates of these substances on a case by case basis.
The regulation, known as the Food Improvement Agent Package (FIAP), requires a positive list of flavours to be set up for use across the EU.
“The Commission has already established a draft list of substances that will not be included in the EU Flavours list as data will never be available because of, for example, their low level of use and over-complexity of the dossiers,” said Mr Lavigne.
“In addition a number of flavours widely used internationally and recognised by, for example, the international additives assessing body linked to Codex Alimentarius, JEFCA, have not and cannot yet be assessed by EFSA, because the two bodies have different approaches and methodologies for assessment,” he added. “It appears the Commission will give specific timeframes deadlines to the food sector to develop additional scientific data and build the dossiers of these flavours before having EFSA assessing them.”
The FIAP is made up of four regulations: Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008 establishing a common authorisation procedure for Food Additives, Food Enzymes and Flavourings; Regulation (EC) No 1332/2008 on Food Enzymes; Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on Food Additives, and Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008 on Flavouring and certain food ingredients with flavouring properties.
The new regulatory framework is progressively being put in place, driving towards full harmonisation and competence at EU level.
The system will be finalised with the European Commission’s creation of lists of approved flavours, additives and enzymes.
EAS provides strategic consulting advice on international regulation on food and nutritional products. It provides companies with regulatory solutions for the marketing and approval of their products in Europe, Asia and Latin America. EAS also advises governments, trade associations and companies on the impact of global policy.
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