Re-evaluation of polyglycerol polyricinoleate (E 476) as a food additive

polyglycerol polyricinoleate, food additive, E 476, emulsifier, PGPR, CAS Registry Number 68936-89-0
First published in the EFSA Journal
24 March 2017
2 March 2017
Scientific Opinion

The Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) provides a scientific opinion re-evaluating the safety of polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR, E 476) used as a food additive. In 1978, the Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 7.5 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day for PGPR. PGPR is hydrolysed in the gut resulting in the liberation of free polyglycerols, polyricinoleic acid and ricinoleic acid. Di- and triglycerol are absorbed and excreted unchanged in the urine; long-chain polyglycerols show lower absorption and are mainly excreted unchanged in faeces. Acute oral toxicity of PGPR is low, and short-term and subchronic studies indicate PGPR is tolerated at high doses without adverse effects. PGPR (E 476) is not of concern with regard to genotoxicity or carcinogenicity. The single reproductive toxicity study with PGPR was limited and was not an appropriate study for deriving a health-based guidance value. Human studies with PGPR demonstrated that there is no indication of significant adverse effect. The Panel considered a 2-year combined chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity study for determining a reference point and derived a no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) for PGPR (E 476) of 2,500 mg/kg bw per day, the only dose tested. Therefore, the Panel concluded that the present data set give reason to revise the ADI of 7.5 mg/kg bw per day allocated by SCF to 25 mg/kg bw per day. Exposure estimates did not exceed the ADI of 25 mg/kg bw per day and a proposed extension of use would not result in an exposure exceeding this ADI. The Panel recommended modification of the EU specifications for PGPR (E 476).

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.
Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food
fip [at]
EFSA Journal 2017;15(3):4743
On request from
European Commission