Dear Partner,

Compaxo is deeply disappointed by the decision of the European Commission (EC) to ban the use of smoke aromas in food products. This innovative technique was designated by the same Commission in 2019 as the best application for smoking products, deemed superior in terms of food safety and sustainability. The ban will have significant implications for businesses without yielding significant health benefits for consumers. In two years, smoke aromas will no longer be permitted as an ingredient, and in five years, the smoke aromas used in the process will be phased out.

Enormous Challenge

The impact of the commission’s decision on us and our products is substantial. If improved smoke aromas do not enter the market in time, traditional smoking or the use of smoked ingredients will become the only alternative for many products. Ironically, this was discouraged in 2019. Our suppliers, the producers of smoke aromas, are thus faced with the challenge of bringing improved smoke aromas to the market as soon as possible. It remains unclear whether this is feasible and whether these alternatives will be approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in time. Therefore, we have requested, through industry associations VNV and FNLI, to establish an accelerated procedure with EFSA.

If no alternative aromas emerge, this is essentially a step backward, particularly in terms of sustainability. We expect to have good alternatives within the specified deadlines for the products in which we add smoke aroma as an ingredient. For the smoke aromas we incorporate into our products, we will be compelled to switch to traditional smoking. The greatest challenge lies in the production of our smoked sausages using the co-extrusion technique, where smoke aroma ensures the collagen casing remains firm. If a safer alternative is developed in time, we will certainly adopt it. If this alternative is not available in time, we will prepare alternative scenarios. We will keep you informed of the implications of the decision for your products.

EFSA Advice

The current decision of the EC is based on advice from EFSA. The EU maintains a zero-tolerance policy for harmful substances in food. However, the EFSA advice does not clarify the risks of these substances in a normal diet. According to experts, individuals with normal eating habits consume minimal amounts, especially compared to the alternative of traditional smoking. It is commendable that EFSA has been requested to thoroughly assess the risks of traditional smoking as well.

Consumers Need Not Fear for Health Food safety is our top priority, and in the availability of better aromas, we will transition. Until then, consumers need not fear for their health when consuming our products containing smoke aroma, such as smoked sausages.

Compaxo Group

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