The European Food Safety Authority has expressed concern over the safety of several of the smoke flavourings used in the EU.

The EFSA completed a review of the 11 flavourings used in the EU in order to help the European Commission establish a list of authorised smoke flavourings.

However, Klaus-Dieter Jany, the chair of EFSA's expert panel, said that the EFSA was concerned that intake levels of smoke flavourings could be close to the levels that may cause "negative health effects".

"This does not necessarily mean that people consuming these products will be at risk as, in order to be on the safe side, the consumption estimates deliberately over-estimate intake levels," he added.

Out of the 11 smoke flavourings evaluated, the panel said that it had no safety concerns for just two of the ingredients.

For all eight others, the panel said: "smaller margins of safety did give rise to safety concerns". For one of these, the panel could not rule out possible genotoxicity, or damage to the genetic material of cells.