Scientific Opinion on the capacity of oleochemical processes to minimise possible risks linked to TSE in Category 1 animal by-products


Fat splitting, hydrogenation, glycerol, fatty acids, TSE
First published in the EFSA Journal
7 February 2011
20 January 2011
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel

The capacity of specific oleochemical processes including several steps (i.e. bleaching, fat splitting, hydrogenation, concentration, distillation and refinement) in order to minimise possible risks linked to TSE infectivity in tallow including Category 1 animal by-products (ABP) was assessed. Under the new ABP Regulation (Reg. EC No 1069/2009), the use of Category 1 tallow for oleochemical products may be also authorised, if the processes are proved to be capable of sufficiently inactivating any potential risks linked to TSEs. The processes considered in this opinion are based on different treatment steps in different combination, but with respect to infectivity reduction the major contribution derives from hydrolytic fat splitting and hydrogenation, so to obtain fatty acids and glycerol. It is concluded that if the parameters are fully met as declared by the applicant, certain processes can be considered effective in significantly reducing the TSE infectivity in the end products using Category 1 tallow. However, considering the uncertainties on the TSE infectivity reduction in oleochemical products derived from Cat. 1 material, these products cannot be reliably regarded to be free of infectivity and therefore could pose a risk if they entered the food and feed chain.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Olivier Andreoletti, Herbert Budka, Sava Buncic, John D. Collins, John Griffin, Arie Havelaar, James Hope, Günter Klein, Tine Hald, James McLauchlin, Christine Mueller-Graf, Christophe Nguyen-Thé, Birgit Noerrung, Miguel Prieto Maradona, Luisa Peixe, Antonia Ricci, John Sofos, John Threlfall, Ivar Vågsholm and Emmanuel Vanopdenbosch.
Panel on Biological Hazards
biohaz [at]
EFSA Journal 2011;9(2):1976 [26 pp.].
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