Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of vitamin C (ascorbic acid and sodium calcium ascorbyl phosphate) as a feed additive for all animal species based on a dossier submitted by VITAC EEIG

Nutritional additive, vitamins and provitamins, vitamin C, ascorbic acid, sodium calcium ascorbyl phosphate, safety
First published in the EFSA Journal
20 February 2013
30 January 2013
Scientific Opinion


Vitamin C (formerly known as antiscorbutic vitamin) is essential for primates, guinea pigs and fish. Vitamin C, in the form of ascorbic acid and sodium calcium ascorbyl phosphate, is safe for all animal species. Setting a maximum content in feed and water for drinking is not considered necessary. Data on the vitamin C consumption of consumers are based on the levels of vitamin C in foodstuffs, including food of animal origin, produced in accordance with current EU legislation on the supplementation of feed with vitamin C. The exposure is far below the guidance level. Any potential contribution of the use of vitamin C in feed is therefore already considered in the above data. Consequently, the use of vitamin C in animal nutrition is not of concern for consumer safety. In the absence of inhalation toxicity studies it would be prudent to assume that inhalation of dust from the additives presents a health hazard to workers and measures should be taken to minimise inhalation exposure. In the absence of data, ascorbic acid and sodium calcium ascorbyl phosphate should be considered as irritant to skin and eyes and as dermal sensitisers. The supplementation of feed with vitamin C does not pose a risk to the environment. Ascorbic acid and sodium calcium ascorbyl phosphate are regarded as effective sources of vitamin C when added to feed or water for drinking.

Panel members at the time of adoption

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.
Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed
EFSA Journal 2013;11(2):3103
Question Number
On request from
European Commission