The European Commission has published its list of flavoring substances authorized for use in foods. Effective October 22, 2012, Regulation EU 872/2012 provides a roster of more than 2,500 substances evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and deemed safe for human food uses, while Regulation EU 873/2012 establishes transitional measures for other flavorings, such as those made from non-food sources, that are still under review. Flavoring substances not found on the list “will be banned after an 18-months phasing-out period.”

To prepare the new regulations, EFSA’s Scientific Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavorings and Processing Aids (the CEF Panel) initially considered approximately 2,800 substances already on the EU market as well as 197 additions. Although the majority of substances reportedly did not present safety concerns, the CEF Panel recommended removing seven substances from commerce and asked for further data on 400 others. Industry can submit data on these pending applications before the deadlines established in the new list, which will apply as of April 22, 2013, and undergo annual updates.

“The Panel is extremely satisfied that this long-term program of work is now coming to fruition,” CEF Panel Chair Iona Pratt said in an October 1, 2012, press release. “However, our job is not completely done yet. Besides the remaining substances for which data are required, EFSA also expects to receive a number of applications related to new flavorings, many of which are likely to be complex mixtures that may require a revised risk assessment approach.”