Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of aliphatic and aromatic amines (chemical group 33) when used as flavourings for all animal species

Sensory additives, aliphatic amines, chemical group 33, 3-methylbutylamine, trimethylamine, trimethylamine hydrochloride
First published in the EFSA Journal
10 May 2012
25 April 2012
Scientific Opinion


Chemical group 33 (CD 33) consists of aliphatic and aromatic amines, as 3-methylbutylamine, trimethylamine and trimethylamine hydrochloride currently listed in the European Union database of flavouring substances and as such authorised for use in food. The calculated safe use level for 3-methylbutylamine is 1.5 mg/kg complete feed for cattle, salmonids and non-food producing animals and 1.0 mg/kg for pigs and poultry. For trimethylamine and its salt the proposed high use level of 5 mg/kg complete feedingstuff is safe for all animal species with a margin of safety ranging between 3 and 15. Safe concentrations should be appropriately reduced if the compounds are used in water for drinking. The FEEDAP Panel estimates that the use of these additives would not significantly increase the exposure of the consumer to compounds (and metabolites) already present in or derived from nutrients and endogenous compounds. Consequently, it concludes that 3-methylbutylamine and trimethylamine at the maximum dose considered safe for the target species would not pose safety concerns for the consumer. The compounds under application are well recognised as being corrosive to the eye and strongly irritant or corrosive to the skin and known irritant to the respiratory tract. When used at a dose considered safe for the target animals the compounds under application are not expected to pose a risk to the environment. Since 3-methylbutylamine, trimethylamine and its salt are used in food as flavourings, and their function in feed is essentially the same as that in food no further demonstration of efficacy is necessary. However, the FEEDAP Panel notes that the oral administration of trimethylamine to ‘tainters’ hens could lead to “fishy eggs” depending on the dietary content of rapeseed, choline and betaine.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Gabriele Aquilina, Georges Bories, Andrew Chesson, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Joop de Knecht, Noël Albert Dierick, Mikolaj Antoni Gralak, Jürgen Gropp, Ingrid Halle, Christer Hogstrand, Reinhard Kroker, Lubomir Leng, Secundino López Puente, Anne-Katrine Lundebye Haldorsen, Alberto Mantovani, Giovanna Martelli, Miklós Mézes, Derek Renshaw, Maria Saarela, Kristen Sejrsen and Johannes Westendorf.
Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed
EFSA Journal 2012;10(5):2679
Question Number
On request from
European Commission