The FEMA GRAS assessment of aliphatic and aromatic terpene hydrocarbons used as flavor ingredients

T. B. Adams, C. Lucas Gavin, M. M. McGowen, W. J. Waddell, S. M. Cohen, V. J. Feron, L. J. Marnett, I. C. Munro, P. S. Portoghese, I. M.C.M. Rietjens, R. L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


This publication is the thirteenth in a series of safety evaluations performed by the Expert Panel of the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA). In 1993, the Panel initiated a comprehensive program to re-evaluate the safety of more than 1700 GRAS flavoring substances under conditions of intended use. Since then, the number of flavoring substances has grown to more than 2600 substances. Elements that are fundamental to the safety evaluation of flavor ingredients include exposure, structural analogy, metabolism, pharmacokinetics and toxicology. Flavor ingredients are evaluated individually and in the context of the available scientific information on the group of structurally related substances. Scientific data relevant to the safety evaluation of the use of aliphatic and aromatic terpene hydrocarbons as flavoring ingredients are evaluated. The group of aliphatic and aromatic terpene hydrocarbons was reaffirmed as GRAS (GRASr) based, in part, on their self-limiting properties as flavoring substances in food; their rapid absorption, metabolic detoxication, and excretion in humans and other animals; their low level of flavor use; the wide margins of safety between the conservative estimates of intake and the no-observed-adverse effect levels determined from subchronic and chronic studies and the lack of significant genotoxic potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2471-2494
Number of pages24
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Aliphatic hydrocarbons
  • Flavoring ingredients
  • Terpene hydrocarbons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology


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