On 14 November 2012, EFSA invited representatives from industry organisations and applicants in the field of flavourings for a technical meeting to exchange views on administrative and scientific issues related to the preparation and the submission of applications for flavourings, including other than flavouring substances and their risk assessment.
The event was organised by EFSA’s Applications Desk (APDESK) Unit in collaboration with the Food Ingredient and Packaging (FIP) Unit, within the framework of “EFSA Info Sessions on Applications” aimed at increasing regular interaction with the EFSA’s stakeholders.
Twenty participants from industry met with EFSA staff, EFSA experts from the Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) and a representative of the European Commission with the aim of openly discussing key issues arising from previous experience of submission of flavourings applications, such as:
- Enhancement of communication between applicants and the Authority during the development phase of the product and after the submission of an application to EFSA
- Streamlining the application process and the timeline involved from the submission of a technical dossier to the publication of the scientific opinion
- Fostering greater understanding on scientific issues under the risk assessment phase of flavourings applications, such as genotoxicity testing strategy, safety evaluation procedure of chemically-defined flavouring substances according to a group-based approach, reporting on use levels in food and assessment of the dietary exposure to flavouring substances, data requirements for other flavouring substances.
In an open dialogue, the participants discussed the methodologies and principles laid down in the guidance documents on the data required for risk assessment of flavourings to be used in or on foods, allowing each party to outline their views and concerns on the subject.
The meeting also proved to be the appropriate forum to introduce the APDESK Unit and to explain the changes brought in by EFSA’s re-organisation concerning the application process from reception to validation.
The event was seen as very fruitful by all the participants. In particular, it was perceived as an important opportunity for a better mutual understanding between EFSA’s stakeholders and the Authority throughout the evaluation process of flavourings applications.
- EFSA Guidance on the data required for the risk assessment of flavourings to be used in or on foods
- EC Practical guidance for applicants on the submission of applications on food additives, food enzymes and food flavourings
- EFSA Proposed template to be used in drafting scientific opinion on flavouring substances (explanatory notes for guidance included)
- Scientific opinion on genotoxicity testing strategies applicable to food and feed safety assessment
- Applications helpdesk