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 This Regulation repealed Directive 88/388/EEC and Commission Directive 91/71/EEC from 20 January 2011 onwards.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:
- Commission Regulation (EU) No 545/2013 of 14 June 2013
- Commission Regulation (EU) No 985/2013 of 14 October 2013
- Commission Regulation (EU) No 246/2014 of 13 March 2014
- Commission Regulation (EU) No 1098/2014 of 17 October 2014
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/648 of 24 April 2015
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1102 of 8 July 2015
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1760 of 1 October 2015
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/54 of 19 January 2016
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/55 of 19 January 2016
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/178 of 10 February 2016
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/637 of 22 April 2016
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/692 of 4 May 2016
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/1244 of 28 July 2016
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/378 of 3 March 2017
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.
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
Repealed legislations on flavouring substances