Re-evaluation of locust bean gum (E 410) as a food additive

locust bean gum (E 410), carob bean gum, food additive, CAS Registry number 9000-40-2
First published in the EFSA Journal
20 January 2017
Adopted
8 November 2016
Type
Scientific Opinion

Abstract

Following a request from European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) provides a scientific opinion re-evaluating the safety of locust bean gum (E 410) as a food additive. Locust bean gum (E 410) is an authorised food additive in the EU. Locust bean gum (E 410) as specified in the Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 is derived from the ground endosperm of the seeds of the strains of carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua (L.) Taub. (Family Leguminosae). An acceptable daily intake (ADI) ‘not specified’ was allocated by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) in 1981. Although not evaluated by the Scientific Committee for Food (SCF), it was accepted by the SCF in 1991 for use in weaning food, and in 1994, in infant formulae for special medical purposes. Locust bean gum is practically undigested, not absorbed intact, but significantly fermented by enteric bacteria in humans. No adverse effects were reported in 90-day toxicity and carcinogenicity studies in rodents at the highest doses tested and there was no concern with respect to the genotoxicity and to reproductive and developmental toxicity of locust bean gum (E 410). The Panel concluded that there is no need for a numerical ADI for locust bean gum (E 410), and that there is no safety concern for the general population at the refined exposure assessment for its reported uses as a food additive. However, infants and young children consuming foods for special medical purposes may show a higher susceptibility to gastrointestinal effects of locust bean gum due to their underlying medical condition. The Panel concluded that the available data do not allow an adequate assessment of the safety of locust bean gum (E 410) in these foods for infants and young children.

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, Agneta Oskarsson, Dominique Parent-Massin, Ivan Stankovic, Ine Waalkens-Berendsen, Rudolf Antonius Woutersen, Matthew Wright and Maged Younes.
Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food
Contact
fip [at] efsa.europa.eu
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2017.4646
EFSA Journal 2017;15(1):4646
Question Number
On request from
European Commission