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The initial search for a flavouring specification

The Online Edition of the JECFA Specifications for Flavourings (previously referred to by JECFA as Flavouring Agents) permits searches for specific flavourings using six different criteria:

  • By flavouring name or synonym – Enter the name of the flavouring or its synonym, or any portion of either, click the SEARCH button or press ENTER on your keyboard and the results page will list all flavourings by JECFA name as well as all synonyms with that text string in their names. As noted in the input page, if the name includes a Greek symbol, then the English equivalent should be used (e.g. alpha). If numbers are used for searching, use numerals (1, 1, 2 - etc.) .
  • Browse alphabetically – There is a Browse Alphabetically link under the searchblock for Flavourings. If that link is clicked an alphabetically searchable index of flavourings by JECFA name will be displayed. If synonyms are also desired, then click on Show Synonyms. The resulting list will include both JECFA names and all synonyms, with the latter identified by an asterisk (*). Note that names are alphabetical, ignoring numbers.
  • By JECFA number – The JECFA has assigned arbitrary sequential numbers to the flavourings which the Committee has evaluated. These numbers are unique and are assigned to individual flavourings, so that if a flavouring is re-evaluated it is not assigned a new number, but retains its old number. If a flavouring is later withdrawn then the number is retired also. When a JECFA number is entered, the database will be searched for all JECFA numbers containing that string. For example, a search for JECFA number 101 will return information on flavourings with JECFA numbers 101, 1011 and 1101.
  • By CAS number – The Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) may assign a registry number to a flavouring. These are unique identifying numbers for that flavouring. Searches can be executed using the entire three part CAS number. Partial searches can be made using any part of the CAS number. For example, a search for a partial string of 10 in the middle block will give in return all flavourings containing 10 in the middle block.
  • By FEMA number – The Flavour and Extracts Manufacturers Association (FEMA) has assigned their own unique identifying number to flavourings evaluated by JECFA. When a number string is entered, the database will be searched for all FEMA numbers containing that string.
  • By structural group – The JECFA evaluations of flavourings are done in groups of like compounds with specific structural similarities. Therefore, if the flavouring sought is in a specific structural family (e.g. aliphatic and aromatic ethers), then that family should be selected from the drop-down list.

The flavouring specification

Once a list of one or more flavourings and/or synonyms are obtained by the use of the above initial search criteria, simply click on the name of the flavouring or synonym that is desired and the final results page with the specification desired, will be presented. If a synonym is selected, the flavouring presented will be by the corresponding JECFA name.

The specification may then be formatted for easy printing using the ‘Print Friendly Version’ link.

If the printing of the on-line print friendly version does not provide readable spectra, requests can be made to the Joint FAO Secretariat to JECFA to provide copies of the spectra concerned.

When a specification is designated Tentative in the field ‘Status of specification’, pending submission of additional information for assessment, an additional field ‘Information required’ with explanatory text will display in the field below.

Other information

The flavouring specifications are available only in English. The interface of the Online Edition, however, is presented in all five of the official languages of the FAO – English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.