Money & Business

Flavor-Extract Makers Highlight Safe Ingredients With Database

By / Oct 19, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A new online database from the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association is a resource for curious minds seeking assurance that flavorings in the foods they consume every day are safe.

Wondering about the ingredients in your meal that add so much flavor? Are those mysterious artificial flavorings safe to eat?

The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association can answer your inquiry. FEMA, which represents those who produce, supply, and use artificial flavorings, has launched the online Flavor Ingredient Library to inform anyone curious about the safety of flavor substances in food.

The library delivers comprehensive access to information on the safety of ingredients used to create the flavors we all enjoy.

The free resource provides information on more than 2,800 ingredients that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) after review by a FEMA panel of expert researchers and doctors.

The association has long been in the business of ensuring that artificial flavorings are safe for consumption.

More than 50 years ago, acting on the provisions of the Food Additives Amendment to the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, it created the FEMA GRAS program, in which FEMA vouches for the safety of food additives that have been reviewed and conferred with GRAS status by its expert panel. FEMA reports those ingredients, and the safety information supporting GRAS status, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In addition to that program, FEMA has accumulated numerous government reports, journal articles, and other resources on flavoring ingredients. Its new online database will make accessing all this information easier.

“The library delivers comprehensive access to information on the safety of ingredients used to create the flavors we all enjoy,” FEMA Executive Director John Cox said in a news release.

The website will host links to publications and safety reviews on individual flavor ingredients. The library will present the basics of the GRAS program and its work in reviewing substances.

The new resource “builds on FEMA’s long history of transparency around flavor ingredient safety issues. The library provides easier access to information researchers, media, and consumers are looking for,” Cox said.

The Flavor Ingredient Library comes in the wake of recent debates over the role of the FDA in overseeing the GRAS process, Food Safety News notes.

Cox said FEMA’s approach could help clear up a lot of confusion around commonly used extracts.

“Consumers increasingly want easier access to information about the safety of the ingredients in the food and beverages they enjoy every day,” he said. “FEMA’s Flavor Ingredient Library responds to that interest and enables consumers to feel secure and confident in the safety of flavor ingredients used in those foods and beverages.”

Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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