Safety of smoke flavorings assessed

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on Friday announced it completed its first-ever review of the safety of 11 smoke flavorings used in the European Union. The flavorings are added to foods, including seafood, to give them a “smoked” flavor, as an alternative to traditional smoking.

Of the 11 smoke flavorings evaluated by an EFSA panel, two flavorings did not pose any health concern, while eight flavorings did pose some health concern. With one flavoring, the panel could not rule out the possibility of genotoxicity, or damage to the genetic material of cells.

However, Klaus-Dieter Jany, chair of the EFSA panel, emphasized that consumers are not necessarily at risk because the consumption level tested by the panel was deliberately overestimated.

“The panel based its conclusions on the limited data which are currently available as well as conservative, or cautious, intake estimates,” said Jany. “The panel expressed safety concerns for several smoke flavorings, where intake levels could be relatively close to the levels which may cause negative health effects.”

To assess the safety of smoke flavorings, the panel asked manufacturers for data on the composition and toxicity of their products. Based on this data, the panel determined the highest intake level at which each product was shown not to cause adverse health effects in animals. This level was then compared to estimated intake levels for humans to determine a margin of safety for each product.

The two flavorings that did not pose any health concern were Scansmoke SEF7525 and Smoke Concentrate 809045. The eight flavorings that did pose some health concern were Tradismoke A Max, Scansmoke R909, Scansmoke PB 1110, SmokEz C?10, SmokEz Enviro 23, Unismoke, Zesti Smoke Code 10 and AM 01.

Fumokomp is the one flavoring that the panel did not find enough data on to make a conclusion.

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