Safety assessment of the active substance selenium nanoparticles, for use in active food contact materials

selenium nanoparticles, active and intelligent materials, multilayer, antioxidant
First published in the EFSA Journal
12 January 2018
28 November 2017
Scientific Opinion


This scientific opinion of the EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) deals with the safety assessment of selenium nanoparticles, FCM substance No 1070, which is intended to be used as an antioxidant. Selenium nanoparticles are incorporated into the adhesive middle layer of multilayer laminates with an outside polyethylene terephthalate (PET) layer and an inner polyolefin (food contact) layer. The final materials are intended to be used for contact with all food types that are susceptible to oxidation. The specific migration of total selenium was tested using multilayer pouches containing selenium nanoparticles at 0.002 mg/dm2 and filled with 3% acetic acid and 20%, 50% or 95% ethanol for 10 days at 60°C. In all tests, migration of selenium was not detectable. Taking into account current knowledge on the diffusional properties of nanoparticles in polymers, the CEF Panel concluded that there is no safety concern for the consumer if selenium nanoparticles are used in multilayer films and separated from the food by a polyolefin food contact layer for any type of food and under any food contact conditions.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Claudia Bolognesi, Laurence Castle, Kevin Chipman, Jean-Pierre Cravedi, Karl-Heinz Engel, Paul Fowler, Roland Franz, Konrad Grob, Rainer Gürtler, Trine Husøy, Sirpa Kärenlampi, Wim Mennes, Maria Rosaria Milana, Karla Pfaff, Gilles Riviere, Vittorio Silano, Jannavi Srinivasan, Maria de Fátima Tavares Poças, Christina Tlustos, Detlef Wölfle and Holger Zorn.
Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
fip [at]
EFSA Journal 2018;16(1):5115
Question Number
On request from
Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad, Spain