Re-evaluation of natural food colours—State of the art

Publication: Research - peer-reviewConference article – Annual report year: 2011

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Having started the re-evaluation of food additives in accordance with the Commission Regulation (EU) No 257/2010 of 25 March 2010 the Scientific Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS Panel) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) identified several complicating issues regarding the re-evaluation of natural food colours, including: (1) the extracts are often made from different natural sources, (2) the extracts can be made using a range of extraction solvents/methods, (3) chemical characterisation of different extracts is usually missing, (4) detailed specifications of the materials tested in the toxicity assays is generally unknown. Given this situation the ANS Panel considered that adequate chemical specifications for each extract are needed. Extracts derived from different sources or obtained by the use of different extraction solvents/methods can only be evaluated provided the chemical specifications allow a read across, or if there are toxicological data on each separate extract. If read across is not possible and if chemical specifications are limited, the safety evaluation of an extract has to be based on an adequate toxicological dataset on exactly that extract. When the shortcomings in the toxicological database do not allow to define a health based guidance value in form of an acceptable daily intake (ADI) it has to be decided on a case-by-case basis whether a margin of safety approach or a comparison of the intake resulting from the proposed uses and use levels as food additive to exposure resulting from the regular diet can be applied.
Original languageEnglish
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Pages (from-to)35
StatePublished - 2011
Event47th Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology - Paris, France


Conference47th Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 0
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ID: 5746716