Scientists at the European Food Safety Authority have completed the first stage of a comprehensive safety review of 2,067 flavouring substances used in the European Union. Based on EFSA’s work, the European Commission will establish a list of flavouring substances which can continue to be used in the EU.
EFSA’s scientific Panel on flavourings (the CEF Panel) found that the majority of flavouring substances (1,667) do not give rise to safety concerns. The Panel has asked manufacturers of the flavouring substances to provide further data on around 400 substances to allow it to complete the evaluations. EFSA will re-assess those substances once those data are received.
The Chair of the CEF Panel, Klaus-Dieter Jany, said: “This is a major achievement in terms of consumer protection. For the first time, all flavouring substances currently available for use in the EU have been independently assessed for safety at European level based on the latest available scientific data and according to the same rigorous criteria.”
“In most cases the substances were found to be safe, but for a number of them the Panel has asked for more data. This does not necessarily mean that these substances pose a risk to health, just that we need further information to be able to complete our safety assessments.”
EFSA will also start to assess applications for the authorisation of new flavourings, based on new guidelines finalised following an on-line consultation and a workshop with stakeholders.
EFSA is also developing a database on the safety of flavourings which will be made available online.