Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of oxidised polyethylene wax (E 914) as a food additive

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Article
Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food
Acknowledgements

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the former Working Group “A” Food Additives and Nutrient Sources (2011–2014) and the members of the Standing Working Group on the re-evaluation of food additives other than gums and colours: Polly Ester Boon, Dimitrios Chrysafidis, Birgit Dusemund, David Gott, Rainer Gürtler, Ursula Gundert-Remy, Claude Lambré, Jean-Charles Leblanc, Daniel Marzin, Peter Moldeus, Pasquale Mosesso, Dominique Parent-Massin, Ivan Stankovic, Paul Tobback, Ine Waalkens-Berendsen, Rudolf Antonius Woutersen and Matthew Wright for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion and EFSA staff members: Ana Rincon and Alexandra Tard for the support provided to this scientific opinion. The ANS Panel wishes to acknowledge the organisations that provided data for this scientific output.

EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2015;13(6):4145 [23 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4145
Panel members at the time of adoption
Fernando Aguilar, Riccardo Crebelli, Alessandro Di Domenico, Birgit Dusemund, Maria Jose Frutos, Pierre Galtier, David Gott, Ursula Gundert-Remy, Claude Lambré, Jean-Charles Leblanc, Oliver Lindtner, Peter Moldeus, Alicja Mortensen, Pasquale Mosesso, Dominique Parent-Massin, Agneta Oskarsson, Ivan Stankovic, Ine Waalkens-Berendsen, Rudolf Antonius Woutersen, Matthew Wright and Maged Younes.
Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2011-00709
Adopted
11 June 2015
Published
2 July 2015
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
Abstract

The EFSA ANS Panel delivered a scientific opinion re-evaluating the safety of oxidised polyethylene wax (OPEW) (E 914) as a food additive. E 914 is authorised at quantum satis only for the surface treatment of some fruits. The Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) evaluated the use of OPEW as a food additive but could not allocate an ADI and as an additive in food contact materials. The EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) evaluated OPEW as a food contact material and established a TDI of 1 mg/kg bw/day. The ANS Panel considered that OPEW—an oxidised form of long-chain acids, alcohols and esters with a low epoxide and peroxide content—is stable in food matrices. Various 90-day studies in rats and a 90-day study in dogs reported no evidence of accumulation. In one rat study, at the highest dose, statistically significant increases in serum glucose and serum alkaline phosphatase and fatty livers were observed without other abnormalities. The lowest no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) was considered 800 mg/kg bw/day. OPEW is not genotoxic. Owing to the lack of chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity studies, the limitations of the reprotoxicity study and the unavailability of the key 90-day study, the Panel considered that the overall toxicity database was insufficient to derive an ADI. Mean intake estimates of OPEW ranged from 0.001—0.03 mg/kg bw/day and high intake estimates ranged from 0.03—0.18 mg/kg bw/day across all population groups. Considering the NOAEL of 800 mg/kg bw/day, the calculated margin of safety (MoS) at the highest intake level of 0.18 mg/kg bw/day was 4 400. The Panel concluded that the exposure estimates of E 914 from its use at the maximum reported use level resulted in a sufficient MoS and that, despite the limitations in the database, E 914 is of no safety concern at the maximum reported use level in its currently authorised use.

Keywords
oxidised polyethylene wax, CAS No 68441-17-8, OPEW, food additive, E 914
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Number of Pages
23