What are Flavouring substances?
Flavouring agents are key food additives with hundreds of varieties like fruit, nut, seafood, spice blends, vegetables and wine which are natural flavouring agents. Besides natural flavours there are chemical flavours that imitate natural flavours. Some examples of chemical flavouring agents are alcohols that have a bitter and medicinal taste, esters are fruity, ketones and pyrazines provide flavours to caramel, phenolics have a smokey flavour and terpenoids have citrus or pine flavour.
Monosodium Glutamate is one of the substances which adds flavour to food, and that has been among the talks a lot in the food industry off late. (Here is why?).
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What FSSAI says
Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 have described flavouring agents under the head ‘Flavouring Agents and Related Substances’ in the Regulations.
Flavouring agents include flavour substances, flavour extracts or flavour preparations, which are capable of imparting flavouring properties, namely taste or odour or both to food. Flavouring agents may be of following three types:
- Natural Flavours and Natural Flavouring substances means flavour preparations and single substance respectively, acceptable for human consumption, obtained exclusively by physical processes from vegetables, for human consumption
- Nature-Identical Flavouring Substances means substances chemically isolated from aromatic raw materials or obtained synthetically; they are chemically identical to substances present in natural products intended for human consumption, either processed or not.
- Artificial Flavouring Substances means those substances which have not been identified in natural products intended for human consumption either processed or not.
List of foods where Monosodium Glutamate is not allowed
- Milk and Milk Products including Buttermilk, Fermented and renneted milk products (plain) excluding dairy based drink.
- Pasteurised cream, Sterilised, UHT, whipping or whipped and reduced fat creams.
- Fats and Oils, Pulses, Oil seeds and grounded/ powdered food grains, Food grains, Sago,
- Butter and concentrated butter, Margarine, Fat Spread
- Fresh fruit, Surface treated fruit, Peeled or cut fruit.
- Fresh vegetables, Frozen vegetables.
- Pastas and noodles (only dried products).
- Fresh meat, poultry and game, whole pieces or cuts or comminuted. Fresh fish and fish products, including molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms. Processed fish and fish products, including molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms.
- Fresh eggs, Liquid egg products, Frozen egg products.
- White and semi-white sugar (sucrose and saccharose, fructose, glucose (dextrose), xylose, sugar solutions and syrups, also (partially) inverted sugars, including molasses, treacle and sugar toppings. Other sugars and syrups (e.g. brown sugar and maple syrup),
- Honey, Saccharine
- Salt, Herbs, spices and condiments, seasoning (including salt substitutes) except seasoning for Noodles and Pastas, meat tenderizers, onion salt, garlic salt, oriental seasoning mix, topping to sprinkle on rice, fermented soya bean paste, Yeast.
- Infant food and Infant milk substitute including infant formulae and follow-on formulate, Foods for young children (weaning foods).
- Natural Minerals water and Packaged Drinking water, Carbonated Water
- Concentrates (liquid and solid) for fruit juices.
- Canned or bottled (pasteurised) fruit nectar.
- Coffee and coffee substitutes, tea, herbal infusions, and other cereal beverages excluding cocoa.
- Wines, Alcoholic Beverage
- Fruits and Vegetables products except those where Monosodium Glutamate is permitted under these Regulations.
- Baking Powder, Arrowroot
- Plantation Sugar, Jaggery and Bura,
- Ice-Candies, Ice cream and Frozen desserts.
- Cocoa Butter
- Malted Milk Food and Milk based foods
- Sugar Confectionery, Toffee, Lozenges, Chocolate
- Pan Masala
Restriction on use of flavouring agents the flavouring agents named below are not permitted for use in any article of food
- Coumarin and dihydrocoumarin;
- Tonkabean (Dipteryl adorat);
- β-asarone and cinamyl anthracilate.
- Ethyl Methyl Ketone
- Eugenyl methyl ether
- Methyl β napthyl Ketone
- Saffrole and Isosaffrole
- Thujone and Isothujone α & β thujone
(source: Food Safety Helpline)