Food contact materials, flavouring substances and smoke flavourings
Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Scientific achievements, challenges and perspectives of the European Food Safety Authority: Taking stock of the 10 years activities and looking ahead
The EFSA Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Materials in Contact with Food (AFC Panel) and the subsequent Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) have undertaken evaluations of the safety of flavourings (both chemically defined substances and mixtures such as smoke flavourings) and food contact materials (FCM), as well as assessments on other substances used in food. The major progress in methodologies for the evaluation of the safety of these substances is highlighted in this article. By December 2011, scientific opinions had been adopted for 247 substances for food contact materials, mainly plastics. Adoption of a series of opinions on active and/or intelligent packaging substances and on recycling processes of plastics is planned between July 2012 and December 2013. Panel opinions, EFSA statements/reports and guidance documents were published on specific issues and on substances for which there was an urgent request for safety evaluation (for example isopropylthioxanthone (ITX), bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, epoxidised soybean oil (ESBO), benzophenone and 4-methylbenzophenone). By 2009, the AFC and CEF Panels had completed the safety review of 2 067 flavourings substances used in the EU. Additional data, which were requested for 404 substances, are currently under evaluation or have been generated. Eleven smoke flavourings have been evaluated, and the CEF Panel has prepared a guidance document on the future data required for the evaluation of flavourings.