A maximum level for erucic acid in oils and fats intended as such for human consumption and in foodstuffs containing added oils and fats has been established by Council Directive 76/621/EEC. In addition, a stricter maximum level for erucic acid has been established in infant formulae and follow-on formulae by Commission Directive 2006/141/EC.
Erucic acid is a natural plant toxin which is a contaminant according to the definition on contaminant provided in Council Regulation (EEC) No 315/93 of 8 February 1993 laying down Community procedures for contaminants in food as the presence of erucic acid in food in the result of the agricultural production, more in particular the choice of the variety.
To simplify the legislation, the maximum levels for erucic acid have been established in Regulation (EC) 1881/2006, as amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 696/2014. Council Directive 76/621/EEC shall be repealed subsequently.
The appropriateness of setting a maximum level for erucic acid has been highlighted by the Scientific Committee on Food in its opinion expressed on 17 September 1993 on essential requirements for infant and follow-on formulae.
When the maximum levels of erucic acid were established by Regulation (EC) 1881/2006, it was found necessary to review the maximum levels in the future based upon an updated risk assessment and also to consider the appropriateness for establishing maximum levels for erucic acid in feed.
A new Commission Regulation (2015/705)  was published 30 April 2015 laying down methods of sampling and performance criteria for the methods of analysis for the official control of the levels of erucic acid in foodstuffs and repealing Commission Directive 80/891/EEC.
EFSA has been requested by the European Commission to assess the risks for animal and human health related to the presence of erucic acid in feed and food (Mandate M-2015-0012) and within this context is launching this specific call for data.
Submission of occurrence data on erucic acid in feed and food
Food manufacturers, national food authorities, research institutions, academia, food business operators, and other stakeholders are invited to submit analytical data on erucic acid concentrations in food and feed.
Data submission on erucic acid should follow the requirements identical to those described in the call for continuous collection of chemical contaminants occurrence data in food and feed. Table 1 summarises the mandatory fields and recommended fields applicable for the data collection defined in this call.
Data should be transmitted using the EFSA web interface “Data Collection Framework (DCF)” (https://dcf.efsa.europa.eu/dcf-war). The data collection group “OCC_GROUP3.2014” is to be selected when submitting data on these substances through the DCF. In order to receive access to the DCF web interface please contact: data.collection [at] efsa.europa.eu.
Universities and other academicals organisations, food business operators, food manufacturers associations and other stakeholders can submit the data using the provided MS Excel® file (Table 2) by email to data.collection [at] efsa.europa.eu. For the collection of this type of data the general recommendations and mandatory fields apply as specified in the Guidance on Standard Sample Description. More details on how to submit this type of data can be found at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/datexcallsfordata/datexsubmitdata.htm .
Table 2: MS Excel® file “Simplified reporting format” available at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/datexdata/docs/GenericReportingFormat.xls
In order to streamline the data collection exercise, food manufacturers are invited to liaise with the relevant food manufacturer associations.
Deadline for transmitting data: 01 August 2015
Please address any technical inquiries regarding the reporting of data to data.collection [at] efsa.europa.eu
Council Directive (76/621/EEC) of 20 July 1976 relating to the fixing of the maximum level of erucic acid in oils and fats intended as such for human consumption and in foodstuffs containing added oils or fats (OJ L 202, 28.7.1976, p. 35)
Commission Directive 2006/141/EC of 22 December 2006 on infant formulae and follow-on formulae and amending Directive 1999/21/EC (OJ L 401, 30.12.2006, p.1)
Council Regulation (EEC) No 315/93 of 8 February 1993 laying down Community procedures for contaminants in food (OJ L 37 , 13.02.1993, p.1)
Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs (OJ L 364, 20.12.2006, p. 5)
Commission Regulation (EU) No 696/2014 of 24 June 2014 amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of erucic acid in vegetable oils and fats and foods containing vegetable oils and fats Text with EEA relevance (OJ L 184, 25.6.2014, p. 1)
 Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/705 of 30 April 2015 laying down methods of sampling and performance criteria for the methods of analysis for the official control of the levels of erucic acid in foodstuffs and repealing Commission Directive 80/891/EEC (OJ) L 113, 1.05.2015, p.29)
European Food Safety Authority; Standard sample description for food and feed. EFSA Journal 2010;8(1):1457 [54 pp.]. http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/1457.pdf