Re‐evaluation of l(+)‐tartaric acid (E 334), sodium tartrates (E 335), potassium tartrates (E 336), potassium sodium tartrate (E 337) and calcium tartrate (E 354) as food additives

tartaric acid, sodium tartrate, potassium tartrate, calcium tartrate, E 334, E 335, E 336, E 337, E 354
First published in the EFSA Journal
11. März 2020
29. Januar 2020
Scientific Opinion


The EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF) provides a scientific opinion on tartaric acid‐tartrates (E 334‐337, 354) when used as food additives. The Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) in 1990 established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 30 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day, for l(+)‐tartaric acid and its potassium and sodium salts. The metabolism of l(+)‐tartaric acid and its potassium sodium salt was shown to be species dependent, with a greater absorption in rats than in humans. No toxic effects, including nephrotoxicity, were observed in toxicological studies in which the l(+)‐form was tested. There was no indication for a genotoxic potential of tartaric acid and its sodium and potassium salts. In a chronic study in rats, no indication for carcinogenicity of monosodium l(+)‐tartrate was reported at the highest dose tested (3,100 mg/kg bw per day). The available studies for maternal or developmental toxicity did not report any relevant effects; no studies for reproductive toxicity were available; however, no effects on reproductive organs were observed in the chronic toxicity study. The Panel concluded that the data on systemic availability were robust enough to derive a chemical‐specific uncertainty factor instead of the usual default uncertainty factor of 100. A total uncertainty factor of 10 was derived by applying a total interspecies uncertainty factor of 1 instead of 10, based on data showing lower internal exposure in humans compared to rats. The Panel established a group ADI for l(+)‐tartaric acid‐tartrates (E 334‐337 and E 354) of 240 mg/kg bw per day, expressed as tartaric acid, by applying the total uncertainty factor of 10 to the reference point of 3,100 mg sodium tartrate/kg bw per day, approximately to 2,440 mg tartaric acid/kg bw per day. The exposure estimates for the different population groups for the refined non‐brand‐loyal exposure scenario did not exceed the group ADI of 240 mg/kg bw per day, expressed as tartaric acid. Some recommendations were made by the Panel.

This publication is linked to the following EFSA Journal articles:,

Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings
fip [at]
EFSA Journal 2020;18(3):6030
On request from
European Commission