Food ingredient applications: overview and procedure

EFSA has implemented a number of provisional measures – such as all staff being required to work from home – in order to comply with the restrictions in place to control the spread of COVID-19. To ensure business continuity on regulated product applications in these circumstances, EFSA will allow companies and institutions to share documentation with the Authority through their chosen internet-based software. For more information, including contact details, consult the Services for applicants page.


EFSA evaluates the safety of regulated food ingredients before they can be authorised for use on the European market. Food ingredients are chemical substances which are used as food additives, food enzymes, flavourings, smoke flavourings and sources of vitamins and minerals added to food. EFSA assesses the safety of new substances and of new proposed uses for currently authorised substances.

There are different application procedures and technical requirements for the various food ingredients.

  1. Applications for food additives, food enzymes and flavourings (excluding smoke flavourings)?are submitted to the European Commission. Different procedures exist.

    Procedure for first-time application for food additives, food enzymes and flavourings

    Re-evaluation of flavourings application procedure

  2. Applications for smoke flavourings are submitted to the national competent authority of a Member State.

    Smoke flavourings application procedure