The Commission established the union list of flavourings (Annex I of Regulation 1334/2008) in 2012 with Regulation EU 872/2012. It contains the EU list of flavouring substances which can be used in food. The food industry can only use flavouring substances that are on the EU list. Transitional measures for other flavourings e.g. flavourings made from non-food sources to be evaluated and authorised later were established in Regulation EU 873/2012 which has been amended by Regulation EU 2018/1259 of 20 September 2018.
Annex I of Regulation 1334/2008 has been modified several times. Please refer to the amendments in EUR-lex.
This Union list can also be consulted in the Food Flavourings Database.
EU list of smoke flavourings (primary products)
There is also a separate Union list of smoke flavouring primary products. Regulation (EU) No 1321/2013 established the Union list of smoke flavouring primary products for use as such in foods and for the production of derived smoke flavourings.
I. Scientific Advice
EFSA provides scientific advice on flavourings. EFSA evaluates 1) chemically flavourings substances; 2) naturally occurring undesirable substances with flavouring properties, and 3) smoke flavourings. It also provides the scientific basis of the program of evaluation of flavouring substances, guidelines on how to evaluate flavourings (including smoke flavourings) and also guidance on the data to be submitted for applications on flavourings.
- Opinions on naturally occurring single substances:
- Beta-Asarone (12 December 2001)
- Benzyl alcohol as carrier solvent for flavourings (24 September 2002)
- Capsaicin (26 February 2002)
- Camphor in flavourings and other food ingredients with flavouring properties (22 May 2008)
- Coumarin in flavourings and other food ingredients with flavouring properties (8 July 2008)
- Estragole (1-Allyl-4-methoxybenzene) (26 September 2001)
- Eucalyptol (17 April 2002)
- Hypericin and extracts of Hypericum sp. (12 December 2001)
- Furfural and Furfural Diethylacetal (2 June 2004)
- Glyzyrrhizinic acid and its ammonium salts (4 April 2003)
- Hydrocyanic acid in flavourings and other food ingredients with flavouring properties (7 October 2004)
- Isosafrole (4 April 2003)
- Pulegone and Menthofuran in flavourings (7 December 2005)
- Methyleugenol (4-Allyl-1,2-dimethoxybenzene) (26 September 2001)
- Quassin (2 July 2002)
- Safrole (1-Allyl-3,4- methylene dioxy benzene) (12 December 2001)
- Teucrin A (5 March 2003)
- Thujone (2 December 2002)
Smoke flavourings (primary products)
*EFSA Evaluations and other EC Documents regarding smoke flavourings, appear in Related Links and Related Documents on the right hand side of the menu.
II. Applying for a new flavouring or modification of conditions of use of a flavouring
The procedure for authorisation of a flavouring substance is common to the one established for food additives and enzymes under Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008.
More details about this procedure can be found at the requirements for the application and a practical guidance.
The Commission has also prepared the Guidance notes on the classification of a flavouring substance with modifying properties and a flavour enhancer. This document has been produced after consultation with the EU countries’ experts on flavourings and the relevant stakeholders to provide criteria in order to distinguish between the use of a chemically defined substance as a flavour enhancer or as a flavouring substance with modifying properties. Such criteria are intended to help applicants to classify the substances in order to apply for authorisations within the correct legal framework.
This Guidance document was endorsed by a very large majority of the representatives of EU countries at the meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health on 26 May 2014.
Also refer to the EFSA guidance to applicants of flavourings: