Scientific Opinion on Flavouring Group Evaluation 98 (FGE.98): Consideration of three ring-unsaturated delta-lactones
The Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids of the European Food Safety Authority was requested to consider evaluations of flavouring substances assessed since 2000 by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (the JECFA), and to decide whether further evaluation is necessary, as laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1565/2000. The present consideration concerns a group of three unsaturated delta-lactones [FL-no: 10.031, 10.037 and 10.044] previously evaluated by the JECFA at their 49th meeting in 1997. The JECFA considered that further information on the metabolism of these three substances was required and that they should be evaluated together with other substances containing alpha,beta-unsaturation and that, therefore, their evaluation should be deferred. However, the EFSA Panel has considered that these three JECFA evaluated aliphatic lactones can be hydrolysed and metabolised to innocuous products in line with the aliphatic lactones evaluated by EFSA in FGE.10Rev2. The substances were evaluated through a stepwise approach that integrates information on structure-activity relationships, intake from current uses, toxicological threshold of concern, and available data on metabolism and toxicity. The Panel concluded that all three substances do not give rise to safety concern at their levels of dietary intake, estimated on the basis of the MSDI approach.