Re-evaluation of lecithins (E 322) as a food additive

Lecithins, E 322, CAS No 8002-43-5 (lecithins), CAS No 85711-58-6 (hydrolysed lecithins), phosphatidylcholine, choline
First published in the EFSA Journal
7 April 2017
Adopted
1 March 2017
Type
Scientific Opinion

Abstract

The present opinion deals with the re-evaluation of lecithins (E 322) when used as a food additive. Lecithins (E 322) is an authorised food additive in the EU according to Annex II and Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on food additives, and have been previously evaluated by JECFA in 1973 and by the SCF in 1982. Among lecithins, phosphatidylcholine is hydrolysed in choline in the cytidine-5-diphosphate-choline pathway in all cells of the body. Following the conceptual framework for the risk assessment of certain food additives re-evaluated under Commission Regulation (EU) No 257/2010, the Panel concluded that there was no need for a numerical ADI for lecithins (E 322) and that there was no safety concern for the general population from more than 1 year of age at the refined exposure assessment for the reported uses of lecithins (E 322) as a food additive. The Panel further concluded that there is no safety concern for the exposure to the choline from lecithins (E 322) as a food additive at use and use levels reported by industry. For infants (from 12 weeks up to 11 months of age), the Panel concluded that there was no safety concern at the refined exposure assessment for the reported uses of lecithins (E 322) as a food additive and for the choline from lecithins (E 322) as a food additive at use and use levels reported by industry. For infants and young children consuming foods for special medical purposes, the Panel concluded that there was no safety concern with respect to the refined exposure assessment for the reported uses of lecithins (E 322) as a food additive and for exposure to choline resulting from these uses of lecithins (E 322).

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.2017.4742
EFSA Journal 2017;15(4):4742
Question Number
On request from
European Commission