The European Commission will review 11 authorised smoke flavouring primary products later this month, taking into consideration the European Food Safety Authority‘s (EFSA) previous safety concerns.
Based on EFSA's evaluations of all the smoke flavourings already in use within the EU, the draft regulation will be discussed by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) on 21 October 21 after preliminary discussions were had on 1 July.
The products which have been reviewed by EFSA are Unilever's Unismoke, Red Arrow's SmokeEz C-10 and SmokeEz Enviro-23, Nactis Sofral's Tradismoke TM A MAX, ProFagus's Scansmoke R909, Azelis Denmark's Scansmoke PB and 1110 and Scansmoke SEF 7525, and Komopozicio's Fumokomp.
Smoke flavourings are obtained by fractionation and purification of a condensed smoke which can be produced by the burning of untreated wood. This is an alternative way of adding the "smoked" flavour achieved when foods like fish, meat and cheeses are smoked for taste and preservative reasons. This technique can be used in the case of these kinds of traditionally smoked foods as well as with foods like soups, sauces and confectionery.
EFSA - which is not involved in the authorisation of products but provides independent scientific advice and communication on food chain risks - has made several rulings on such products in the past.
Smoke flavourings are regulated separately from other flavourings as they consist of complex mixtures of substances derived from specific processes to obtain this type of taste, which give rise to different safety issues. In June 2007, EFSA's former AFC Panel published an opinion on a smoke flavouring which had raised particular concerns and which the Panel found to be genotoxic in animals. This product was subsequently withdrawn from the market.
Source: The European Commission