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Re-evaluation of polyglycerol esters of fatty acids (E 475) as a food additive


Published on: Wed, 20 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100

The EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) provides a scientific opinion re-evaluating the safety of polyglycerol esters of fatty acids (PEFA) (E 475) when used as a food additive. In 1978, the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) endorsed an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 25 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day previously established by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). Absorption of intact PEFA in the gastrointestinal tract was extremely low. PEFA was rapidly and almost fully hydrolysed to polyglycerols and fatty acids in the gastrointestinal tract. The safety of polyglycerols and specific fatty acids has recently been assessed and no adverse effects were identified in the available studies. No adverse effects of PEFA at any dose have been observed in short-term, subchronic or chronic toxicity studies. A no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of 9,000 mg/kg bw per day was identified from subchronic studies and of 2,500 mg/kg bw per day from chronic studies, the highest doses tested. No genotoxic potential of PEFA was identified from the limited information available. The reproductive toxicity studies showed no adverse effects of PEFA but had major limitations. Clinical chemistry and urinalysis, from a clinical study with limited information, did not reveal any adverse effects in volunteers receiving up to 300 mg/kg bw per day for 3 weeks. The highest exposure to PEFA used as a food additive was 2.6 and 6.4 mg/kg bw per day in children at the mean and the 95th percentile, respectively, for the non-brand loyal scenario. Considering all the above, the Panel concluded that the food additive PEFA (E 475) was not of safety concern at the reported uses and use levels and that there was no need for a numerical ADI. The Panel recommended some modifications of the EU specifications for E 475.

© European Food Safety Authority, 2015

Re-evaluation of polyglycerol esters of fatty acids (E 475) as a food additive

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