First Active food substance approvals announced by EFSA

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First Active food substance approvals announced by EFSA

April 22
09:26 2013

The first Active substances designed for use with various applications in food contact materials have been given the go ahead by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In an announcement at the beginning of April the Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Food Processing Aids (CEF) gave the go ahead for substances used with meat, poultry, vegetable and fresh fruit. 

Three applications were considered, from companies based in UK and Germany. The Panel considered  a liquid absorber as well as oxygen and carbon dioxide generators.

Liquid Absorber:

Materials evaluated were:  acrylic acid; sodium salt, co-polymer with acrylic acid, methyl ester; methacrylic acid; 2-hydroxyproyl ester; and acrylic acid cross-linked. Some are used as a form of fibres in absorbent pads for packing fresh or frozen meat, etc. While others are used as monomers in acrylic resin coatings for food cans. (Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011).

The Panel concluded these substances pose no safety concerns under intended conditions of use.

Oxygen Generator:

Evaluation was undertaken of the powder mixture of the active substances: sodium carbonate; peroxyhydrate coated with sodium carbonate; sodium silicate; bentonite; sodium chloride; and sodium carbonate. These are intended to be used as combined oxygen generators and carbon dioxide absorbers in packaging containing fresh fruits, placed in a nonwoven polyethylene  sachet separated from the food by a pad.

The EU Risk assessment Report concluded that hydrogen peroxide is not classified as a mutagen or has toxic characteristics, so does not raise safety concerns under the intended conditions of use.

Carbon Dioxide Generator:

The mixture of Active substances citric acid (E330 and sodium hydrogen carbonate E500ii) were also evaluated. These are intended for use as a carbon dioxide generator  in liquid absorbant pads in the packaging of fresh and frozen meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and fruits.

As the substances are not in direct contact with food, but are placed in a pad, under conditions where absorption capacity is not exceeded, the Panel deemed that no migration and therefore no exposure is anticipated.

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