Smoke flavourings evaluated as weakly genotoxic

by Editor
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

FF-B, a smoke flavouring, can damage the genetic material in cells, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) warned.

EFSA is currently evaluating the safety of a number of smoke flavourings. Its evaluation has shown that in laboratory tests a smoke flavouring, FF-B, can be regarded as weakly genotoxic in animals, that is, it can damage the genetic material in cells.

FF-B is among a group of flavourings extracted from natural processes and that mimic the taste obtained through the traditional process of smoking foods.

In relation to FF-B, an EFSA scientific panel concluded that the flavouring can be regarded as weakly genotoxic in vivo, with animal testing showing that it can damage DNA.

The company that submitted the application for FF-B withdrew the flavouring from the market in April, EFSA said. It has also agreed to stop activities shipping FF-B or any derived products to the EU.

FF-B has less than 5 per cent of the entire European smoke flavouring market, according to EFSA figures.

Under an EU regulation, a smoke flavouring can only be authorised for use in the EU if it is sufficiently demonstrated that it does not present risks to human health.