Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of inositol as a feed additive for fish, dogs and cats

nutritional additive, vitamins and provitamins, inositol, safety, efficacy
First published in the EFSA Journal
6 May 2014
9 April 2014
Last Updated
12 December 2014. This version replaces the previous one/s.
Scientific Opinion


Inositol is an essential micronutrient for salmon, carp, tilapia and shrimps, particularly juveniles. This conclusion is extended to all fish and crustaceans. The requirements differ among species and may be in the range of 250–500 mg/kg complete feed for fish. The use of inositol in feed for fish and crustaceans is considered safe at the recommended levels; setting a maximum content is not considered necessary. Based on the study provided in dogs, it was not possible to (i) demonstrate the essentiality of dietary inositol for dogs and (ii) conclude on the safety of dietary inositol at the recommended use levels of between 500 and 3 000 mg/kg. The FEEDAP Panel is not in the position to conclude on the efficacy and safety of inositol for cats. Supplementing feed for fish and crustaceans will not substantially increase the exposure of the consumer to inositol. Considering dietary exposure and endogenous synthesis of inositol, the additional exposure from fish fed an inositol-supplemented diet is of no concern for consumer safety. Considering the potential inhalation exposure upon handling the additive and the absence of data on inhalation toxicity, the FEEDAP Panel concludes that inhalation exposure from handling inositol could be hazardous. In the absence of data, inositol should be considered as irritant to skin and eyes and as a skin sensitiser. Inositol occurs naturally in the environment, particularly in plants. The use of inositol in fish nutrition is not expected to substantially increase the concentration in the environment. Consequently, the supplementation of fish feed with inositol does not pose a risk to the environment.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Gabriele Aquilina, Vasileios Bampidis, Maria De Lourdes Bastos, Lucio Guido Costa, Gerhard Flachowsky, Mikolaj Antoni Gralak, Christer Hogstrand, Lubomir Leng, Secundino López-Puente, Giovanna Martelli, Baltasar Mayo, Fernando Ramos, 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 2014;12(5):3671
Question Number
On request from
European Commission