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SECTION B. Specifications. Certain flavouring agents


At its 44th meeting JECFA considered a new approach to the safety evaluation of flavouring agents. This approach incorporates a series of criteria whose use enables the evaluation of a large number of these agents in a consistent and timely manner. At the 46th meeting the Committee applied these procedures to the evaluation of 52 flavouring agents. At the current session of the Committee, the procedure was applied to additional 217 flavouring agents. Specifications of identity and purity were prepared for 164 of these 217 flavouring agents and are documented on the following pages.

The specifications are presented in a tabular format because with the number of flavouring agents now being evaluated, the method of presentation becomes a matter of efficiency. Some of the substances have uses additional to that of being a flavouring agent, for example also serving as a carrier solvent. For these substances the specifications are presented both in the traditional format in Section A and in the tabular format in Section B. Section B, in some cases, contains a reference back to Section A so as to avoid repeating some tests which apply to all uses.

Information on specifications is given under the following headings, most of which are self-explanatory: Name; Chemical name; Synonyms; Flavour and Extract Manufacturer's Association of the United States (FEMA) No; Council of Europe (COE) No; Chemical Abstract Service Registry (CAS) No; Molecular weight; Chemical formula; Physical form/odour; Solubility; Solubility in ethanol*, Boiling point (information only); Identification test (ID), IR infrared spectrum; Assay min%**; Acid value max; Refractive index (at 20°, if not otherwise stated); Specific gravity (at 25°, if not otherwise stated); Other requirements, e.g. additional tests; and last the JECFA column that indicates the Session at which the specifications were prepared, E means "extraction solvent, C means "also used as carrier solvent" (See Section A), P means "preservative, R means "specifications revised", S means "existing specifications maintained, S, T means "existing tentative specifications maintained, N means "new specifications", and N, T means "new tentative specifications - further information required).

* See General Methods (Guide to JECFA Specifications), FAO Food and Nutrition Paper (FNP) 5/Rev. 2 (1991).

** See Gas chromatographic (GC) Assay of Flavour Chemicals.

Previous specifications of flavouring agents having no other functional uses have been converted to the new tabular format. The tables were generated using Microsoft Excel 5.0.

The infrared spectra, used for identification and comparison purposes, are provided from page 239 onwards, except for those 52 flavouring agents, evaluated at the 46th session of the Committee. For the IR spectra of these substances, see FNP 52 Addendum 4 (1996).

NOTE: Many of the above IR spectra are of unsatisfactory editorial quality. The FAO JECFA Secretariat is exploring ways and means to produce satisfactory and consistent IR spectra when these specifications are printed again.

Table (1-17)

Table (1-17) cont.

Table (18-31)

Table (18-31) cont.

Table (32-48)

Table (32-48) cont.

Table (49-64)

Table (49-64) cont.

Table (65-79)

Table (65-79) cont.

Table (80-93)

Table (80-93) cont.

Table (94-105)

Table (94-105) cont.

Table (106-115)

Table (106-115) cont.

Table (116-130)

Table (116-130) cont.

Table (131-148)

Table (131-148) cont.

Table (149-165)

Table (149-165) cont.

Table (166-182)

Table (166-182) cont.

Table (183-198)

Table (183-198) cont.

Table (199-215)

Table (199-215) cont.

Table (216-218)

Table (216-218) cont.

The following IR-spectra are reprinted from Merck FT-IR Atlas through courtesy of Dr. K.G.R. Pachler, Mr. F. Matlock, and Dr. H-U. Gremlich, and VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim, Germany: 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 91, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 108, 110, 111, 113, 114, 116, 117, 118, 119, 125, 126, 127, 128, 137, 141, 142, 143, 148, 149, 179, 183, 184, 185, 186, 206, 217, and 218.

The following IR-spectra are reprinted with the permission from the Food Chemicals Codex, 4th Edition. Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. Courtesy of the National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.: 53,54,56, 57, 58, 59,60, 61, 62,66, 65, 71,89,94,100,106,107,109,122,130,131, 134,151,158,174,188,196, and 198.


This procedure applies both to the assay of flavour chemicals and to the quantitation of minor components in flavour chemicals. Analysts following this procedure and performing the test should obtain sufficient resolution of major and even trace components of a mixture to calculate accurately the concentration of the desired component; should be familiar with the general principles, usual techniques, and instrumental variables normally met in gas chromatographic analysis; and should pay particular attention to the following:

1. Stability of baseline, return to baseline before and after each peak of interest, and minimum use of recorder attenuation.

2. Any incompatibility between a sensitive sample component and column support, liquid substrate, or construction material.

3. The response to different components of the same or different detectors. Since sizable errors may be encountered in correlating area percent directly to weight percent, the methods for calculating response factors should be known.

4. Where limits for minor components are specified in the column entitled Other Requirements in the above tabular specifications for flavour chemicals, analysts should use authentic materials to confirm the retention times of minor components. Determine the quantity of components following the instructions below under Calculations and Methods.


Column: open tubular capillary column of fused silica or deactivated glass 30 m long x 0.25 to 0.53 mm id

Stationary phase:

1. For a nonpolar column: methyl silicone gum, or equivalent (preferable a bonded and cross-linked dimethyl polysiloxane)

2. For a polar column: polyethylene glycol, or equivalent (preferable a bonded and cross-linked polyethylene glycol)

3. The stationary phase coating should have a thickness of 1 to 3 m m

Carrier gas: helium flowing at a linear velocity of 20 to 40 ml/s

Sample size: 0.1 to 1.0 m l

Split ratio: (for 0.25 mm to 0.35 mm id columns only) 50:1 to 200:1, typically, making sure that no one component exceeds the capacity of the column

Inlet temperature: 225 to 275°

Detector temperature: 250 to 300°

Detectors: use either a thermal conductivity or flame ionization detector operating both as recommended by the manufacturer

Oven program: 50 to 240°, increasing the temperature by 5 °/min, hold at 240° for 5 min

Analysts can also use any GC conditions providing separations equal to (or better than) those obtained with the above method, but in the case of a dispute, the above method must stand.


A. Peak area integration with total area detected normalized to 100%, using electronic integrators: Use an electronic peak integrator in accordance with the manufacture's recommendations, ensuring that the integration parameters permit proper integration of the peaks of a variety of shapes and magnitudes and do not interpret baseline shifts and noise spikes as area contributed by the sample. Use internal or external standards as needed to confirm that the total GC peak area corresponds to 100% of the components present in the sample.

B. Results obtained as described above are based on the assumption that the entire sample has eluted and the peaks of all of the components have been included in the calculation. They will be incorrect if any part of the sample does not elute or if all the peaks are not measured. In such cases, and in all methods described above, the internal standard method may be used to determine percentages based on the total sample. For this method, measurements are required of the peaks of the component(s) being assayed and of the internal standard.

An accurately weighed mixture of the internal standard and the sample is prepared and chromatographed, the area ratio(s) of the component(s) to the standard is computed, and the percentage(s) of the component(s) is calculated.

If this calculation is to be applied, the substance used as the standard should be one that meets the following criteria:

a. Its detector response is similar to that of the component(s) to be determined. In general, the more nearly the chemical structure of the component resembles that of the standard, the closer the response will be.

b. Its retention time is close to, but not identical with, that of the component(s).

c. Its elution time is different from that of any other component in the sample so that its peak does not superimpose on any other.

The weight ratio of the internal standard to the sample should be such that the internal standard and the component sought produce approximately equal peaks. This is, of course, not possible if several components of interest are at different levels of concentration.

If the internal standard method is applied properly, it may be assumed that the ratio of the weight of component to the weight of internal standard is exactly proportional to the peak area ratio, and under these conditions no correction factor is needed. The sample is first run by itself to determine whether the internal standard would mask any component by peak superposition. If there is no interference, a mixture is prepared of the sample and of the internal standard in the specified weight ratio, and the percentages of the internal standard and of the sample in the mixture are calculated. The mixture is chromatogrphed, and the areas of the component peak and the internal standard peak are calculated by one of the methods described above.

The calculations are as follows:

1a. % Component in Mixture/%Internal Standard in Mixture = Component Area/Internal Standard Area, or

1b. % Component in Mixture = % Int. Std. in Mixture x (Component Area/Internal Standard Area)

2. % Component in Sample = (%Component in Mixture x 100)/%Sample in Mixture

Should calibration be necessary, mixtures should be prepared of internal standard and component, of either 100% or of known purity. The number of mixtures and the weight ratios to be used depend on the component being analyzed. Usually, three mixtures will be required. The weight ratio of one is chosen so that the heights of component and standard are equal. The ratios of the other two may be two-thirds and four-thirds of their value. Each mixture should be chromatographed at least three times, and areas calculated. The factor for each chromatograph should be calculated as specified below, and the averages taken for each mixture. An overall average factor is calculated from them. The calibration should be performed periodically.

1. Factor = [(Wt. Component x % Purity)/(Wt. Int. Std. x % Purity)] x [(Int. Std. Area)/Component Area]

2. % Component in Sample Mixture = (Component Area x Factor x % Int. Std. in Sample Mixture)/Int. Std. Area

3. % Component in Sample = (% Component in Sample Mixture x 100)/% Sample in Sample Mixture


The GC system suitability test sample consists of an equal-weight mixture of food-quality acetophenone, benzyl alcohol, benzyl acetate, linalool, and hydroxycitronellal.

Using the test sample described below, periodically test the performance of and resolution provided by the gas chromatograph employed. The test sample must display results comparable in quantitative composition, peak shape, and elution order to those specified herein. The quantitative composition should not deviate from the results listed below by more than 10%. Analyze the GC test sample using the GC Conditions for Analysis given above.

Component in Test Sample

Order of Elution

Normalized %

Area (FID)





Benzyl alcohol















Benzyl acetate













Information required


Allyl 2-furoate

Assay; Acid value


Rhodinyl propionate

Assay; Acid value


Citronellyl valerate

Assay; Acid value


Geranyl hexanoate

Assay; Acid value


Geranyl isobutyrate

Boiling point; Acid value


Rhodinyl isobutyrate

ID test; Acid value


Geranyl isovalerate

Boiling point; Acid value


Rhodinyl isovalerate

Assay; Acid value


Geranyl 2-ethylbutanoate

Boiling point; Assay; Acid value; Refractive index; Specific gravity


Heptyl formate

Assay; Acid value


2-Ethylbutyl acetate

Assay; Acid value


Heptyl butyrate

Assay; Acid value


Octyl butyrate

Assay; Acid value


Decyl butyrate

Assay; Acid value


cis-3-Hexenyl hexanoate

Boiling point; Acid value


Propyl heptanoate

Assay; Acid value


Butyl heptanoate

Assay; Acid value


Octyl heptanoate

Assay; Acid value


Isobutyl heptanoate

Assay; Acid value; Refractive index


Heptyl octanoate

Assay; Acid value


Octyl octanoate

Assay; Acid value


Nonyl octanoate

Assay; Acid value; Refractive index


Isoamyl laurate

Boiling point; ID test; Assay; Acid value; Refractive index; Specific gravity


Butyl stearate

Assay; Acid value; Refractive index


2-Methylbutyl 2-methylbutyrate

Assay; Acid value; Specific gravity


Isopropyl 2-methylbutyrate

Boiling point; ID test; Acid value; Specific gravity


3-Hexenyl 2-methylbutanoate

Boiling point; Acid value; Specific gravity


Methyl 2-methylpentanoate

Boiling point; Assay; Acid value; Refractive index; Specific gravity


Ethyl 3-methylpentanoate

Boiling point; Assay; Acid value; Refractive index; Specific gravity


53 Citronellyl formate

54 Geranyl formate

55 Neryl formate

56 Rhodinyl formate

57 Citronellyl acetate

58 Geranyl acetate

59 Neryl acetate

60 Rhodinyl acetate

61 Citronellyl propionate

62 Geranyl propionate

63 Neryl propionate

64 Rhodinyl propionate

65 Citronellyl butyrate

66 Geranyl butyrate

67 Neryl butyrate

68 Rhodinyl butyrate

69 Citronellyl valerate

70 Geranyl hexanoate

71 Citronellyl isobutyrate

72 Geranyl isobutyrate

73 Neryl isobutyrate

75 Geranyl isovalerate

76 Neryl isovalerate

77 Rhodinyl isovalerate

78 Geranyl 2-ethylbutanoate

79 Formic acid

80 Acetaldehyde

81 Acetic acid

82 Propyl alcohol

83 Propionaldehyde

84 Propionic acid

85 Butyl alcohol

86 Butyraldehyde

87 Butyric acid

88 Amyl alcohol

89 Valeraldehyde

90 Valeric acid

91 Hexyl alcohol

92 Hexanal

93 Hexanoic acid

94 Heptyl alcohol

95 Heptanal

96 Heptanoic acid

97 1-Octanol

98 Octanal

99 Octanoic acid

100 Nonyl alcohol

101 Nonanal

102 Nonanoic acid

103 1-Decanol

104 Decanal

105 Decanoic acid

106 Undecyl alcohol

107 Undecanal

108 Undecanoic acid

109 Lauryl alcohol

110 Lauric aldehyde

111 Lauric acid

112 Myristaldehyde

113 Myristic acid

114 1-Hexadecanol

115 Palmitic acid

116 Stearic acid

117 Propyl formate

118 Butyl formate

119 n-Amyl formate

120 Hexyl formate

121 Heptyl formate

122 Octyl formate

123 cis-3-Hexenyl formate

124 Isobutyl formate

125 Methyl acetate

126 Propyl acetate

127 Butyl acetate

128 Hexyl acetate

129 Heptyl acetate

130 Octyl acetate

131 Nonyl acetate

132 Decyl acetate

133 Lauryl acetate

134 cis-3-Hexenyl acetate

135 trans-3-Heptenyl acetate

136 10-Undecen-1-yl acetate

137 Isobutyl acetate

138 2-Methylbutyl acetate

140 2-Ethylbutyl acetate

141 Methyl propionate

142 Propyl propionate

143 Butyl propionate

144 Hexyl propionate

145 Octyl propionate

146 Decyl propionate

147 cis-3-Hexenyl propionate

148 Isobutyl propionate

149 Methyl butyrate

150 Propyl butyrate

151 Butyl butyrate

152 n-Amyl butyrate

153 Hexyl butyrate

154 Heptyl butyrate

155 Octyl butyrate

156 Decyl butyrate

157 cis-3-Hexenyl butyrate

158 Isobutyl butyrate

159 Methyl valerate

160 Butyl valerate

161 Propyl hexanoate

162 Butyl hexanoate

163 n-Amyl hexanoate

164 Hexyl hexanoate

165 cis-3-Hexenyl hexanoate

166 Isobutyl hexanoate

167 Methyl heptanoate

168 Propyl heptanoate

169 Butyl heptanoate

170 n-Amyl heptanoate

171 Octyl heptanoate

172 Isobutyl heptanoate

173 Methyl octanoate

174 n-Amyl octanoate

175 Hexyl octanoate

176 Heptyl octanoate

177 Octyl octanoate

178 Nonyl octanoate

179 Methyl nonanoate

180 Methyl laurate

181 Butyl laurate

183 Methyl myristate

184 Butyl stearate

185 Methyl isobutyrate

186 Ethyl isobutyrate

187 Propyl isobutyrate

188 Butyl isobutyrate

189 Hexyl isobutyrate

190 Heptyl isobutyrate

191 trans-3-Heptenyl 2-methylpropanoate

192 Octyl isobutyrate

193 Dodecyl isobutyrate

194 Isobutyl isobutyrate

195 Methyl isovalerate

196 Ethyl isovalerate

197 Propyl isovalerate

198 Butyl isovalerate

199 Hexyl 3-methylhutanoate

200 Octyl isovalerate

201 Nonyl isovalerate

202 3-Hexenyl 3-methylbutanoate

203 2-Methylpropyl 3-methylbutyrate

204 2-Methylbutyl 3-methylbutanoate

205 Methyl 2-methylbutyrate

206 Ethyl 2-methylbutyrate

207 n-Butyl 2-methylbutyrate

208 Hexyl 2-methylbutanoate

209 Octyl 2-methylbutyrate

211 3-Hexenyl 2-methylbutanoate

212 2-Methylbutyl 2-methylbutyrate

213 Methyl 2-methylpentanoate

214 Ethyl 2-methylpentanoate

215 Ethyl 3-methylpentanoate

216 Methyl 4-methylvalerate

217 trans-Anethole

218 Citric acid

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