Since July 2008, the risk assessment of smoke flavouring is carried out by EFSA’s Panel on food contact materials, enzymes, flavourings and processing aids (CEF). Previously the task was performed by the former Panel on food additives, flavourings, processing aids and materials in contact with food (AFC).
In June 2007, EFSA’s former AFC Panel published an opinion on a smoke flavouring which had raised particular concerns and which the Panel found to be genotoxic in animals. This product was subsequently withdrawn from the market.
EFSA’s CEF Panel adopted a series of opinions on 11 further smoke flavourings in 2009.
In 2011, the CEF Panel updated its previous safety evaluation of the smoke flavourings Fumokomp and Zesti Smoke Code 10. On the basis of new information provided by the manufacturers, EFSA’s experts say at the proposed use and use levels Fumokomp is not of safety concern. New data on Zesti Smoke Code 10, however, still resulted in an insufficient Margin of Safety and EFSA concluded its use is of safety concern for the proposed uses and at the proposed use levels.
Glossary: Margin of Safety
For a given smoke flavouring, the Margin of Safety (MOS) is the ratio of the No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level (NOAEL) typically identified through a 90-day toxicological study in animals, to the anticipated exposure of consumers to this substance through the diet. The expert evaluation of the accepted MOS takes into account evidence that the smoke flavouring is not genotoxic (i.e. does not damage DNA, the genetic material of cells) and applies uncertainty factors for variations between animals and humans and between population groups (e.g. infants, children, elderly...).