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Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of methionine-zinc, technically pure as amino acid for ruminants, and as compound of trace element for all species

EFSA Journal 2013;11(1):3038 [25 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3038
  EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) Panel Members Gabriele Aquilina, Alex Bach, Vasileios Bampidis, Maria De Lourdes Bastos, Gerhard Flachowsky, Josep Gasa-Gasó, Mikolaj Antoni Gralak, Christer Hogstrand, Lubomir Leng, Secundino López-Puente, Giovanna Martelli, Baltasar Mayo, Derek Renshaw, Guido Rychen, Maria Saarela, Kristen Sejrsen, Patrick Van Beelen, Robert John Wallace and Johannes Westendorf Acknowledgment The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Amino Acids, including Paul Brantom, and the members of the Working Group on Trace Elements, including Noël Albert Dierick, Jürgen Gropp, Alberto Mantovani and the late Reinhard Kroker, for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion. Contact FEEDAP@efsa.europa.eu
Type: Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel On request from: European Commission Question number: EFSA-Q-2010-01315 Adopted: 11 December 2012 Published: 23 January 2013 Last updated: 04 February 2013. This version replaces the previous one/s. Affiliation: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Abstract

The additive methionine-zinc, technically pure (Met-Zinc) is zinc chelated with methionine in a molar ratio 1:2. It is intended to be used as a source of the amino acid in ruminants, and as compound of trace element for all species. The additive is safe for all animal species/categories considering that its use in supplementing feed is first limited by the regulatory maximum content of zinc. However, its contribution to dietary methionine needs consideration when formulating diets. The use of the additive will not modify the methionine content in tissues/products. Zinc from Met-Zinc would not lead to higher zinc deposition in tissues/products, and hence consumer exposure, than zinc from other authorised sources. The use of Met-Zinc in animal nutrition is safe for consumers when used up to the maximum authorised zinc level. In the absence of data, the compound should be considered as a potential irritant to skin and eye and skin sensitiser. Zinc compounds are hazardous by inhalation; Met-Zinc shows high dusting potential, thus exposure by inhalation represents a hazard to persons handling the additive. The use of Met-Zinc in feed as a source of zinc does not pose an additional risk to the environment, compared with other sources of zinc for which it will substitute, as long as the maximum authorised content in feedingstuffs is not exceeded. Methionine from the additive does not represent a risk to the environment. Based on data from a balance study on piglets and from a study on zinc tissue deposition in broilers, Met-Zinc is considered an efficacious source of zinc for all animal species/categories. The weak evidence seen for Met-Zinc is insufficient to conclude on its efficacy in ruminants; however, considering also an EFSA opinion on DL-Met, the Panel concludes that Met-Zinc has some potential as an effective source of methionine for ruminants.

© European Food Safety Authority, 2013

Summary

Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on safety and efficacy of methionine-zinc, technically pure (Met-Zinc) as compound of trace element for all species, and as amino acid for ruminants.

Based on published literature, the FEEDAP Panel concludes that additive Met-Zinc is safe for all animal species/categories considering that its use in feed is first limited by the regulatory maximum content of zinc. However, its contribution to dietary methionine needs consideration when formulating diets.

Methionine from Met-Zinc would be incorporated into animal tissues and products, showing a constant amino acid pattern. Zinc from this feed additive would not lead to higher zinc deposition in tissues/products, and hence consumer exposure, than zinc from other authorised zinc sources. The FEEDAP Panel concludes that the use of Met-Zinc in animal nutrition is safe for consumers when used up to the maximum authorised level of zinc.

In the absence of data, the compound should be considered as a potential irritant to skin and eye and a skin sensitiser. Zinc compounds are hazardous by inhalation; Met-Zinc shows a high dusting potential, thus exposure by inhalation represents a hazard to persons handling the additive.

The use of Met-Zinc in feed as a source of zinc does not pose an additional risk to the environment, compared with other sources of zinc for which it will substitute, as long as the maximum authorised content in feedingstuffs is not exceeded. Methionine from the additive does not represent a risk to the environment.

In studies comparing bioavailability of zinc from Met-Zinc and from zinc oxide, a higher digestibility and body retention of zinc from Met-Zinc in piglets and equivalent responses in plasma and tissue level of zinc in chickens for fattening fed diets were shown; consequently the additive Met-Zinc is considered an efficacious source of zinc for all animal species/categories. The weak evidence put forward for Met-Zinc is insufficient to conclude on its efficacy in ruminants; however, considering also the evidence reviewed in a recent EFSA opinion on the efficacy of DL-Met in ruminants, the FEEDAP Panel concludes that Met-Zinc has some potential to be an effective source of methionine for ruminants.

The FEEDAP Panel made some recommendations with regards to the specification of the additive.

Keywords

nutritional additive, amino acid, compound of trace elements, methionine-zinc, safety, efficacy