More than 2,500 flavourings for the food and drink sector have been included on a new list published by the European Union.

The list, which will be updated annually and become effective in April 2013, forms one of two pieces of legislation adopted by the European Commission to help control the use of flavouring agents within the food manufacturing industry. 

It includes more than 2,100 authorised flavouring substances, with a further 400 flavouring agents, which will remain on the market until the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) evaluates and approves the products as part of its  Flavouring Evaluation Programme.

John Dalli, health and consumer policy commissioner, said: “Thanks to ongoing efforts by EFSA and other scientific bodies, this legislation on flavouring substances will vastly improve the transparency of information to citizens and industry alike. It will be easier for all concerned to know exactly which flavouring substances can be used in food.”

The European Flavour Association (EFFA) released a statement regarding the list, which said: “We welcome the positive vote on both regulations as the establishment of the European Union List is a milestone towards a harmonised EU framework for the safe use of flavourings.

“EFFA and its membership are fully prepared to comply with the new rules as set out in both regulations. The List of Flavouring Substances includes all materials supported by the industry during the ongoing safety evaluation process.”