Citric acid, sodium hydrogen carbonate

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Article
Citric acid (E330, CAS No 77-92-9, FCM Substance No 139); sodium hydrogen carbonate (E500ii, CAS No 144-55-8, FCM Substance No 21); Food contact materials; Active and intelligent materials; Safety assessment; Evaluation
First published in the EFSA Journal
9 April 2013
Adopted
19 March 2013
Type
Scientific Opinion
Abstract

This scientific opinion of EFSA Panel on food contact materials, enzymes, flavourings and processing aids deals with the safety evaluation of the mixture of the active substances citric acid (E330, CAS No 77-92-9, FCM Substance No 139) and sodium hydrogen carbonate (E500ii, CAS No 144-55-8, FCM Substance No 21), which is intended to be used as a carbon dioxide generator in liquid absorbent pads in the packaging of fresh or frozen meat, poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables. Depending on absorption capacity needed, pure cellulose or a mixture of cellulose and polyacrylic acid sodium salt crosslinked may be used as absorber. The Panel noted that if the active substances are used not in direct contact with food, but are placed in a pad under conditions where its absorption capacity is not exceeded, then no migration is to be expected and therefore no exposure from the consumption of the packed food is expected. Therefore the CEF Panel concluded that the use of the mixture of the active substances citric acid (E330) and sodium hydrogen carbonate (E500ii), as carbon dioxide generator in liquid absorbent pads in the packaging of food such as fresh or frozen meat, poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables, does not raise a safety concern. The absorbent pads should be used only under conditions in which the liquid absorption capacity is not exceeded and direct contact between the substance and the food is excluded.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Ulla Beckman Sundh, Mona-Lise Binderup, Claudia Bolognesi, Leon Brimer, Laurence Castle, Alessandro Di Domenico, Karl-Heinz Engel, Roland Franz, Nathalie Gontard, Rainer Gürtler, Trine Husøy, Klaus-Dieter Jany, Martine Kolf-Clauw, Catherine Leclercq, Jean-Claude Lhuguenot (until November 2012), Wim Mennes, Maria Rosaria Milana, Maria de Fátima Poças, Iona Pratt, Kettil Svensson, Fidel Toldrá and Detlef Wölfle.
Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
Contact
cef [at] efsa.europa.eu
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3152
EFSA Journal 2013;11(4):3152 [10 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Germany
Competing interests
One member of the Panel did not participate in the discussion on the subject referred to above because of potential conflicts of interest identified in accordance with the EFSA policy on declarations of interests.
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Number of Pages
10