Re-evaluation of tragacanth (E 413) as a food additive

tragacanth (E 413), CAS Registry Number 9000-65-1, food additive
First published in the EFSA Journal
9 June 2017
6 April 2017
Scientific Opinion

The Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) provides a scientific opinion re-evaluating the safety of tragacanth (E 413) as a food additive. In the EU, tragacanth (E 413) has been evaluated by the Scientific Committee for Food (SCF, 1989) and by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA, 1987), who both allocated an acceptable daily intake (ADI) ‘not specified’ for this gum. Following the conceptual framework for the risk assessment of certain food additives, re-evaluated under Commission Regulation (EU) No 257/2010, the Panel considered that adequate exposure and toxicity data were available. Tragacanth (E 413) is unlikely to be absorbed intact and is partially fermented by intestinal microbiota. No adverse effects were reported in carcinogenicity studies at the highest dose tested and there is no concern with respect to the genotoxicity. Oral daily intake of a large amount of tragacanth up to 9,900 mg tragacanth/person per day (approximately equivalent 141 mg tragacanth/kg body weight (bw) per day) for up to 21 days was well tolerated in humans. The Panel concluded that there is no need for a numerical ADI for tragacanth (E 413) and that there is no safety concern for the general population at the refined exposure assessment of tragacanth (E 413) as a food additive at the reported uses and use levels.

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 Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
fip [at]
EFSA Journal 2017;15(6):4789
Question Number
On request from
European Commission