Natural & Artificial Flavours – What Do the FSSAI Regulations Say?

Natural & Artificial Flavours – What Do the FSSAI Regulations Say?
Natural & Artificial Flavours – What Do the FSSAI Regulations Say?

Flavors can be either natural or artificial. Natural & Artificial Flavoursenhance the taste of the food to make it more appetizing.

Flavoring Agents:

These include flavoring substances/ extracts/preparations, which give the food its taste or odor or both. Flavoring agents are of three types.

  • Natural Flavours and Natural Flavouring Substances: These are flavor preparations or single substances, obtained from vegetables by physical processes.
  • Nature-Identical Flavouring Substances: These substances are chemically purified from an aromatic source or synthesized and have the same chemical composition as natural products.
  • Artificial Flavouring Substances:

    These substances are chemically different and absent in natural products.

Use of Anti-Oxidants, Emulsifying and Stabilising Agents and Food Preservatives in Flavour: These are permitted in flavoring.

Use of Anticaking Agent in Flavours: Synthetic amorphous silica (SiO2) may be used in powder flavoring (max 2%).

Restriction on Use of Flavouring Agents: The following flavoring agents must not be present in any type of food:

  • Coumarin and dihydrocoumarin
  • Tonkabean (Diptera adorat)
  • β-asarone and cinnamyl anthracite
  • Estragole
  • Ethyl Methyl Ketone
  • Ethyl-3-Phenylglycidate
  • Eugenyl methyl ether
  • Methyl β naphthyl Ketone
  • p-Propylanisole
  • Safrole and Isosafrole
  • Thujone and isothujone α & β thujone

What Do the FSSAI Regulations Say About Flavours in Food?

As per the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, the flavors that are added to food items should comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Accordingly, the following must be ensured:

  • The added flavor must be the least amount possible to achieve efficacy.
  • Added flavor should become a part of the food during manufacture, processing or packaging.
  • Added flavor should be treated in the same way as the food ingredient.

The Issue of “Carry Over”: It should be noted that the issue of “Carry Over” applies to additives, including flavors, which will be added in the starting raw materials and will be “carried over” to the final product. The presence of flavors in food due to carry over is allowed, if it is not prohibited in the regulations and is within the maximum permitted limits.

Food Items in Which Flavours Can Be Added:

  • Thermally Processed Fruit Beverages / Fruit Drink/ Ready to Serve Fruit Beverages (Canned / Bottled / Flexi-pack / Aseptically Packed).
  • Custard Powder.
  • Ice Lollies or Edible Ices.
  • Pan Masala.
  • Canned Luncheon Meat / Canned Chopped Meat / Canned Cooked Ham: These may be smoked and flavored with natural flavors and nature identical flavors and permitted flavor

Food Items in Which Flavours Can Be Added, but with Restrictions:

  • Synthetic Syrup or Sharbat: Must be free from burnt or objectionable flavors. Only permitted flavors
  • Interesterified Vegetable Fat / Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils: The artificial flavor, as per the list of permissible flavors, should be distinct from that of ghee.
  • Turmeric (Haldi): Should have characteristic flavor and must be free of artificial flavors.
  • Tea / Green Tea: Natural flavors and natural flavoring substances allowed.
    • Added flavor should bear proper label declaration.
    • Tea used for flavored tea should be of high standards of quality.
    • Flavored tea manufacturers must register with the Tea Board.
  • Kangra Tea:
    • The tea containing added flavor should be clearly mentioned on the label.
    • The tea used for flavored tea should be of high standards of quality.
    • Tea but be labeled as Kangra tea.
    • Flavored tea manufacturers must register with the Tea Board.

Food Items in Which Flavours Cannot Be Added:

  • Chakka and Shrikhand: Must not contain added flavors.
  • Jam / Fruit Cheese: Must be free of burnt or objectionable
  • Cornflour (Maize Starch): Must not contain added flavors.
  • Solvent Extracted Cotton Seed Flour: Must not contain added flavors.
  • Carob Powder: Must not contain artificial flavors or rancid/obnoxious flavors.

As per the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, the following criteria must be met:

  • Added flavors must be mentioned in capital letters on the label:

CONTAINS ADDED FLAVOUR (specify a type of flavoring agent)

  • Artificial flavors must mention the common name of the flavors.
  • Natural flavors or nature identical flavors must mention the class name of flavors on the label.
  • Foods containing fruit flavors, which may be natural/nature identical/artificial (single/combined), cannot be described as a fruit product and the label must display “ADDED” (NAME OF FRUIT) FLAVOUR.

How Can We Help?

Arbro Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. has NABL accredited and FSSAI approved laboratories with state-of-the-art instruments for testing food samples. Our dedicated scientific staff are always abreast of the latest developments in the scientific arena and are well versed with the latest techniques and instrumentations to carry out testing of chemical constituents of various types of foodstuffs on a regular basis. If you would like to use our testing services, please feel free to contact us through the contact form or call us now on +91-11-45754575. We will be happy to provide you a proposal for testing of flavor additives in your food samples.

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