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MEP Clara Aguilera's visit to a flavour house in Barcelona showcases sustainable food choices

In a city famous for its architectural marvels, another form of innovation takes center stage. Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Clara Aguilera's recent tour of a Barcelona flavour house delved into the chemistry of flavours that underpin our everyday cuisine. The visit, facilitated by the European Flavour Association (EFFA) and the Spanish Flavour and Fragrance Association (AEFAA), provided a glimpse into the world of flavourings and their impact on the European food industry.

The visit took place on March 8th, Women’s Day, presenting an opportunity for MEP Aguilera, recognized as one of the top 10 women in agri-food by the Smart Agrifood Summit, to witness the savoir-faire of several women in the flavour industry, including flavourists and technicians in the applications laboratory. They are part of a team who creates tasty experiences with plant-based alternatives or products with reduced fat, salt, or sugar, making healthier food taste better.

The visit was described as MEP Aguilera has “full of discovery” and the tasting session “a pleasant surprise”: Some of these products could not be commercialised without flavourings, she said. For a continent steeped in culinary tradition, these visits highlight the intersection of nature, science, and legislation. It is crucial to help consumers make more sustainable and conscious choices without having to sacrifice the pleasure of a good and tasty meal. The flavour industry can play a key role in making that happen” concluded Ms. Aguilera.

Heritage and Future

In the flavour industry, the marriage of tradition and technology paints a picture of a Europe that commands 30% of the global market, yet still honors its roots with 70% of the companies being family-owned. Alexandre Cevallos, President of AEFAA, and Karel Stoschek, President of EFFA, led the MEP and other stakeholders through a sequence of discussions, tours, and the tasting session. As Mr. Stoschek put it, “MEP Aguilera tasted not just the future of sustainable eating but the very essence of European heritage that we carry into each ingredient."

Sebastian Emig, Secretary General of the European Snacks Association, was also part of the visit, signaling the strong commitment of the whole agri-food chain, from the farm to the fork, to work together to provide the consumer with more sustainable food choices. From sustainable practices developed in the farming industry, to snacks with reduced salt and plant-based alternatives, taste is a crucial part of the journey, and the flavour industry works closely with upstream providers and downstream customers to provide consumers with better choices.

Mr. Cevallos, President of AEFAA, remarked on the event's significance: "Today's visit offered a tangible demonstration that everything in nature is chemistry, including the flavours that delight our senses. It also underlined the crucial role of legislation in the entire production process of flavourings, ensuring safety and quality for consumers”.

Looking ahead, the flavour industry continues to engage and communicate, with notable upcoming events such as the London FlavourDay organized by the UK Flavour Association on the 8th of April and the Berlin FlavourDay, scheduled later in the year by the German Flavour Association. These events will further highlight the industry's dedication to innovation, sustainability and excellence.

For more information, images from the visit, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jimena Gomez de la Flor

EFFA Communcations Director