Food

EU Rules

EU Rules

I. EU Legislation

Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008 on flavourings and certain food ingredients with flavouring properties for use in/on foods was adopted on 16 December 2008 and entered into force on 20 January 2009. This Regulation repealed Directive 88/388/EEC and Commission Directive 91/71/EEC from 20 January 2011 onwards.

Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008 lays down general requirements for safe use of flavourings and provides definitions for different types of flavourings. The Regulation sets out substances for which an evaluation and approval is required. The Union list of flavouring substances, approved for use in and on foods, was adopted on 1 October 2012 and was introduced in Annex I of this Regulation.

The Union list of flavourings has been amended as follows:

The Regulation prohibits the addition of certain natural undesirable substances as such to food and lays down maximum levels for certain substances, which are naturally present in flavourings and in food ingredients with flavourings properties, but which may raise concern for human health.

The union list of flavourings (Annex I of Regulation 1334/2008) is described here.

II. Labelling of flavourings

The overall rules on the labelling of food are also relevant for flavourings. Please refer to the Labelling and Nutrition web section.

However there are some specific provisions regarding the labelling of flavourings in Chapter IV of Regulation 1334/2008.

Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008 also sets out the rules for labelling of flavourings from business to business and for sale to the final consumers.

It also describes the specific requirements for use of the term "natural". This Regulation also harmonises and clarifies the rules for the use of these substances in the EU.

III. Smoke flavourings

Smoke flavourings are a specific category of flavourings and are governed by a specific set of regulations:

    • Regulation (EC) No 2065/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 November 2003 on smoke flavourings used or intended for use in or on foods. The Regulation establishes a Community procedure for the safety assessment and the authorisation of smoke flavourings intended for use in or on foods in order to ensure a high level of protection of human health and protection of consumers' interests, as well as to ensure fair trade practices.
    • Regulation (EC) No 627/2006 of 21 April 2006 implementing Regulation (EC) No 2065/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards quality criteria for validated analytical methods for sampling, identification and characterisation of primary smoke products.
    • Regulation (EU) No 1321/2013 establishing the Union list of authorised smoke flavouring primary products for use as such in or on foods and/or for the production of derived smoke flavourings, was published in the Official Journal on 12 December 2013. This Regulation lists the authorised smoke flavouring primary products for use in or on foods and their conditions of use. This list was established on the basis of the applications submitted under article 20 of the Regulation 2065/2003 and after evaluation by EFSA.

IV. Rules for use of additives in food flavourings

The food additives that may be used in flavourings and their conditions of use can be consulted under additives.

 

V. Background on older legislations on flavourings still partially valid

Legislations on flavouring substances that are still partially valid

  • European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 2232/96 of 28 October 1996 laying down a Community procedure for flavouring substances used or intended for use in or on foodstuffs. This Regulation will remain in force until a number of substances for which the EU risk assessment have not been completed at the time of entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 872/2012 have been fully evaluated and added to the Union list. At that time, the authorisation procedure for flavourings under Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008 will be fully applicable.
  • Regulation (EC) No 1565/2000 of 18 July 2000 laying down the measures necessary for the adoption of an evaluation programme in application of Regulation (EC) No 2232/96 of the European Parliament and of the Council. This Regulation will remain in force until a number of substances for which the EU risk assessment have not been completed at the time of entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 872/2012 have been fully evaluated and added to the Union list. At that time, the authorisation procedure for flavourings under Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008 will be fully applicable.

Repealed legislations on flavouring substances

  • Directive 88/388/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to flavourings for use in foodstuffs and to source materials for their production
  • Decision 88/389/EECon the establishment, by the Commission, of an inventory of the source materials and substances used in the preparation of flavourings
  • Directive 91/71/EEC of 16 January 1991 completing Directive 88/388/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to flavourings for use in foodstuffs and to source materials for their production.
  • Regulation (EC) No 622/2002of 11 April 2002 establishing deadlines for the submission of information for the evaluation of chemically defined flavouring substances used in and on foodstuffs.