Skip to main content


Flavourings are used to improve or modify the odour and/or taste of foods. Flavourings and food ingredients with flavouring properties should only be used if they fulfil the criteria laid down in legislation governing the use of flavourings. Flavourings must not pose a safety risk to consumers (on the basis of the scientific evidence available) and should not mislead the consumer.

EU legislation defines different types of flavourings, such as:

  • flavouring substances;
  • flavouring preparations;
  • thermal process flavourings;
  • smoke flavourings;
  • flavour precursors;
  • food ingredients with flavouring properties; and
  • other flavouring.

This legislation does not apply to substances with only an exclusively sweet (e.g., sugar), salty (e.g., salt) or sour taste, or to raw foods or mixtures such as fresh, dried or frozen spices and/or herbs, or to teas and infusions as such as long as they have not been used as food ingredients, e.g., cinnamon sticks, cherry juice.

Here you can access legislation and guidance for flavourings in the following: