January 17, 2018

What is flavor? Where does it come from? How do consumers know that the flavors contained in their foods and beverages are safe for consumption? What process does the industry enact to validate consumers’ apprehensions about the safety of flavors?

Twice a month, the team here at the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) will address these very queries and offer insightful information on emerging trends and solutions to problems within the industry, safety evaluation, flavor labeling, and more. Whether you are a flavor manufacturer, supplier, health advocate, or industry executive, all are welcome to join the conversation and facilitate an open discussion on this forum.

Before we jump into specifics, let’s take a brief look back at the association’s history, expertise, and commitment to assuring a substantial supply of safe flavoring substances.

In the early 1900s, there was an increasing demand for pure, high-quality flavorings in food and beverage products. Forward-thinking executives from companies, such as Kellogg, Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola and Pepsi Co., recognized this need and the value of joining together to support the growth of the U.S. flavor industry. As a result, FEMA was established in 1909 to further the business interests of its members and foster a global environment in which the flavor industry can create, innovate, and compete.

Over the past 100 years, FEMA has shaped the industry in a multitude of ways, from formulating standards to contributing to the 1958 Food Additives Amendment.  Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the FEMA Expert Panel determines the “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) status of flavoring substances.  The independent FEMA Expert Panel has been administering the FEMA GRAS program for more than 50 years, and still today remains an internationally respected authority on demonstrating and assessing flavor safety.

In an age when consumers are largely focused on healthy eating, our industry plays a critical role by enhancing the experience of eating and drinking through the use of safe and distinctive flavor ingredients. Today, we are comprised of more than 100 companies and continually help our member companies survive and thrive.

The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States (FEMA) was founded in 1909 and is the national association of the U.S. flavor industry. FEMA’s membership is comprised of flavor manufacturers, flavor users, flavor ingredient suppliers, and others with an interest in the U.S. flavor industry. The association is committed to ensuring a safe supply of flavor ingredients used in foods and beverages enjoyed by billions of men, women, and children around the world.