Flavor companies do not generally sell directly to the public. They are considered ingredient manufacturers. Their products are not considered finished food products.
Yes, flavor companies must comply with USDA and FDA rules for ingredients and processing. Additional regulatory regimes may apply based on the final product. For example, alcoholic beverages and meat products must follow additional regulations and disclosures. Flavor manufacturing plants are subject to the same inspections and rules as any other food manufacturer.
As with any food manufacturer, flavor companies must also comply with trade rules and international food laws when importing or exporting products.
Increasingly greater attention is being paid to supply chains worldwide. The flavor industry operates in a worldwide ingredient and sales environment, and many different legislative and trade agreements apply. Regulatory managers and staff play an ever-important role in the industry today, and this is considered a desirable specialty as ingredient traceability becomes mandatory.