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"Quantum Satis" in flavour regulation: what is it?

Definition and context

Formulating a flavouring means mixing several raw materials in very variable and precise proportions, in particular one or more carriers, flavouring substances, flavouring preparations and additives. Each raw material used in the composition of the flavouring is governed by strict regulations: EC-1334/2008 for flavouring substances, for example, or EC-1333/2008 for additives.

These regulations sometimes specify a limit value for the concentration of the raw material in question in the finished product, i.e. once the flavouring has been applied to the foodstuff. However, raw materials that are not subject to such a limit value cannot be incorporated at will: their use must be limited to the minimum quantity necessary to achieve the desired result. In English, we use the Latin term Quantum Satis (QS), meaning "the amount which is enough".

This notion of Quantum Satis is not very well defined and is difficult to verify in practice. It was introduced in order to protect consumers.

In practice, how does Quantum Satis operate?

A good professional formulates his or her flavours in accordance with the Quantum Satis concept.

However, complying with Quantum Satis is quite instinctive, especially when it comes to flavouring substances. The flavouring substances are used to confer a taste, they have their own intensity, and the flavourist's entire intervention is focused on the balance of the proportions between these substances. It is therefore instinctively through their creative abilities that flavourists comply with Quantum Satis.

Yet, the introduction of Quantum Satis into the regulations helps to reassure consumers. Without this "safety net", consumers may perceive flavour formulation as unregulated and unsafe.

Quantum Satis is also understood in terms of the function of the substance in the flavour. Let us take the example of triethyl citrate. This molecule is used as an additive for its solvent capacity, with a limit of 3 g/kg in foodstuffs and 1 g/l in beverages (EC-1333/2008). It is also used as a flavouring substance to confer a bitter taste, in Quantum Satis (EC-1334/2008). The function is crucial for the assessment of Quantum Satis: it is not possible to use triethyl citrate without limit for its solvent properties, claiming to use it as a flavouring substance for the bitter taste it confers, if the bitterness in question can be obtained with smaller quantities.

Quantum Satis in Flavour Manager

Flavour Manager distinguishes between 'limiting' and 'non-limiting' raw materials.

Limiting raw materials have a limit to their concentration in the finished product as delivered to the consumer. These raw materials and their proportion in the flavouring must be mentioned on the flavouring data sheet. It is the responsibility of the user of the flavouring (usually a food and beverage company) to check the regulatory compliance of the food or beverage containing the flavouring, and therefore to check the concentration of the limiting raw material in the final product. Flavour Manager allows this regulatory compliance to be checked.

Non-limiting raw materials are usually the majority of the flavouring ingredients, and these are the ones that are Quantum Satis. The user of the flavouring does not have to worry about the non-limiting raw materials contained in the flavouring, in fact it is information that they do not have, as the composition of the flavourings is almost always kept by the supplier.

What does Flavour Manager do for me?

Flavour Manager is based on a comprehensive regulatory database with all regulatory restrictions for more than 2,500 components in flavourings, for all types of food. A calculation algorithm, taking into account the specificities of your ingredients such as their density, allows you to check your flavourings, individually or in combination, in your foodstuffs. Without calculations, you can check your regulatory compliance and obtain the maximum dosage of your flavouring(s) in the desired foodstuffs.

If you are a flavourist, it is useful for you to avoid wasting time in long discussions with your regulatory department. You are operational and autonomous!

If you are in the food industry and you are formulating a product, you ensure that you comply with the regulations and protect your consumers.

Discover Flavour Manager