There are over 4,200 flavor components approved for use in the U.S., including natural and synthetic chemicals, essential oils, extracts and botanicals. When simulating a desired flavor character, each flavor component chemical contributes to the characterizing flavor to get the desired profile. Flavor components may be soluble only in certain solvents. Solvents can provide a stable environment for flavor components, keeping flavor homogeneous in the ingredient. Non-flavor ingredients include processing aids, such as the flow agents tricalcium phosphate and silicon dioxide; antioxidants, like alpha tocopherol and rosemary oil; flavor enhancers, such as artificial sweeteners and monosodium glutamate; and colors.

Active principles are chemically defined substances that occur in certain flavor source materials that should not be used as flavoring substances in their own right, because they typically have toxicological concerns. As a result, they have maximum limits set in foods. Coumarin in cinnamon and hydrocyanic acid in almonds are examples.

Separate regulations exist for flavor components than for additives. Flavor components are often segregated between a “positive” and “negative” list. Many times, additives also are grouped by function. Separate regulations still exist for flavor enhancers, solvents, spices, seasonings and herbs. Other regulation considerations are active principles, genetic modification, allergen labeling, food composition standards, organic and importation.

International regulations are country- or region-specific. For example, Morocco accepts flavor materials complying with EU regulations. South Africa accepts flavor materials complying with EU, U.S. and/or Codex (international) regulations.

Most countries have restrictions on what can or cannot be used in certain food applications. In Italy, for example, ethyl maltol is only allowed in chewing gum or sweets, up to 60mg/kg. Additionally, most countries have “standards of identity” for certain finished products, dictating optional ingredients for those products. For instance, German regulations state that “vanilla mousse and vanilla pudding” have at least 0.4g vanilla pods or an equivalent amount of natural vanilla flavor. In Denmark, flavors used in dairy products must be registered with the government, prior to importation.

When international regulatory agencies are involved, the best way to ensure compliance and minimize issues during commercialization is to provide the “ABCs” or extra data to the flavor supplier. The application also requires the base of manufacturing, the country where the flavor is added to the product and the countries to which the product and/or flavor may be exported. Listing specific countries is important as, for example, Germany is a member of the EC, but not all directives are harmonized. Genetic modification is an issue in some countries, because it is either banned or requires pre-registration or special labeling. 

“Going Global with a Flavor,” Jennifer Hoffmann, regulatory affairs manager, FONA International,,
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Reduce Acrylamide and Maintain Flavor
Many food products are affected by acrylamide, including French fries, breakfast cereals, potato chips, crisp bread, ginger bread, biscuits, cookies and coffee. The conditions needed for the reaction that forms acrylamide are the presence of asparagine, a reducing sugar, low water content and high temperatures (>248°F) that occur during deep-frying, baking, toasting and other processes.

“The goal of our reduction methods,” explained Claudia Scholten, group leader-food applications for Jungbunzlauer, “is to reduce acrylamide content significantly, be easily incorporated into existing processes, produce no off-tastes and have no negative impact on equipment (for example, with corrosion by adding CaCl2).” Her comments were part of her presentation titled, “Reduce Acrylamide and Maintain Flavor,” given at Prepared Foods’ 2009 R&D Applications Seminar-East. She continued, “Our approach is to add a mineral-based citrate that is approved for food--with a pleasant taste profile and only slightly acidic at higher concentrations. This is a cost-effective solution, with quick dissolution properties and good solubility (180g/L).”

To illustrate, take French fries, where the potatoes are peeled and cut and put into a blanching bath with up to a 2% addition of citrate. They then are pre-fried, dipped again in the bath or, alternatively, sprayed with the citrate solution (concentration up to 2%). Afterward, they are deep-frozen and stored. With the use of the citrate solution, the fries show no sensory difference to standard fries treated in a blanching bath of only demineralized water. The fries are golden yellow; a few are light brown and crispy.

At a 2% solution, there is an 80% reduction in acrylamide production compared with the control (when frying at regular household conditions). Similar results are found with bran flakes and chocolate cereal bowls. 

Citrate promotes up to an 80% acrylamide reduction, with a neutral taste, minimal effect on pH levels, and no allergen or GMO issues. It possesses excellent dissolution properties; is suitable for pneumatic transport; is non-corrosive; can be used in both wet and dry processes; and is heat-stable. The use of citrate for acrylamide reduction requires no retention time, and it is easy to handle; furthermore, it is low-cost, and there is no labeling, as it is considered a processing aid. pf

“Reduce Acrylamide and Maintain Flavor,” Claudia Scholten, group leader-food applications, Jungbunzlauer,,
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor