Tea Flavouring Information for Distinctly Tea REF: EU Flavour Regulation January 2011

All of our flavoured teas are sourced to German suppliers because we believe their quality to be among the best in the world. The stringent regulations in place in Europe, particularly Germany, means the teas coming into us are the best we can offer our customers.

The European Regulation (EC) 1334/2008 on flavourings and certain food ingredients with flavouring properties for use in and on foods entered into force in January 2011 and Distinctly Tea Inc. was made aware in late 2013. We follow the EU regulations because the Canadian regulations on flavouring are not as specific regarding the tea products and pertain more to false advertising, especially pictorial displays that may mislead consumers.

Eg. Natural strawberry flavouring: may only be used if at least 95% is from the natural flavouring components derived from the named source. The remaining 5% from other sources should only be used to adjust natural variations in the flavor profile to ensure a consistent quality and/or to introduce a special note to it e.g. fresh, green, ripe.

Natural strawberry flavouring with other natural flavourings: requires that the flavouring components are natural and partly derived from the named source and that their flavour can easily be recognized. The remaining flavour components must also be natural.

Natural flavouring: is only available for flavourings when a clear relationship between different source materials used in the flavouring component and the overall flavour-profile does not exist.

The term "natural flavouring" may not be used for flavourings that fall in the categories one and two.

The term "nature identical flavouring" is deleted in the new Regulation. Flavourings that have been grouped here before, can now be named with the word 'flavouring' or a more specific name or description of the flavouring e.g. strawberry flavouring.

Definition of Flavours: We only purchase teas with flavours that are in accordance with the currant EC and international directives and guidelines. Our suppliers extensive and strict quality controls results in consistent and high quality products ensuring flavours that are suitable for human consumption.

Natural Flavours: Are produced from natural, vegetable or animal raw materials such as fruits, spices, herbs or roasted coffee. They may only be produced using physical, enzymatic or microbiological processes; for example squeezing, distilling, warming, filtering, grinding, blending, fermenting or crushing.

Flavours: Are produced through chemical synthesis by using processes such as esterification or acetylation. The materials used need not be of natural origin, but the chemical composition of the majority of the final product must be identical to a naturally existing substance of vegetable or animal origin (formerly nature-identical flavours according to old EU guideline for flavours 88/338EWG. That is why these flavours are generally residue-free. The German companies still only use natural flavours and those which were formerly known as nature-identical according to the old EU guideline for flavours 88/338EWG.

In the following we would like to summarize the consequences on the flavour labelling on our packaging to you our customer.
In general the flavour can always be named with the word 'flavour or flavouring or a more specific name or description of the flavouring e.g. strawberry flavouring. By late Fall 2014 all our labels reflected the word (flavour).

If we wish to name the flavour more precisely we have to meet the following requirements (exemplary on the basis of strawberry): As more teas become available we add them to our lineup and identify them as NATURAL FLAVOUR. In store Look for the red dot on the top right hand corner of our jar and bag labels.

Flavour Terms

The term: “aroma“ comes from the Greek language and means: spice.

Aromas are the determinants of the taste of foodstuff. They give food a clearly distinguishable character and generally only the combination of several 100 flavours forms the typical taste and smell of a certain food. The entire concentration of aromas is in the ppb-area (parts per billion).

According to 1 of the aroma regulation, aromas are concentrated preparations of flavours and further components of foodstuff which are technologically necessary.

We can distinguish between the following varieties of aromas:

Natural aromas

Natural aromas are yielded from natural, plant or animal raw materials, such as fruits, spices, herbs, roasted coffee or smoked ham. In their production, only physical, enzymatic or microbiological procedures can be used such as squeezing, distilling, warming, filtering, grinding, blending, fermenting or cutting.

Nature-identical Aromas

Nature-identical aromas are produced via chemical synthesis such as esterification or acetylation. The hereby used raw materials do not have to be of natural origin, but the chemical characteristic of the final product has to be identical to a naturally existing substance of plant or animal origin. Therefore, a large number of nature- identical aromas are available, which are equal in quality to the natural ones.

Nature-identical aromas are generally residue-free.

Artificial Aromas

Artificial aromas have the same characteristics as natural aromas, but they do not exist in nature. In Germany, their use in teas is forbidden by law.

Aroma Extracts

Aroma extracts are, like natural aromas, produced from natural, plant or animal raw materials via physical, enzymatic or microbiological procedures. However, aroma extracts are highly concentrated aroma blends which are much more intensive than the naturally existing raw materials.