Safety and efficacy of butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) as a feed additive for all animal species

Butylated hydroxyanisole, BHA, technological additive, antioxidant, safety, efficacy
First published in the EFSA Journal
28 March 2018
6 March 2018
Scientific Opinion

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a waxy solid consisting for > 98.5% of the active substance, a mixture of 3‐tert‐butyl‐4‐hydroxyanisole and 2‐tert‐butyl‐4‐hydroxyanisole. It is intended to be used as an antioxidant in feedingstuffs for all animal species and categories. The Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) considered BHA up to 150 mg/kg complete feed as safe for all animal species except for cats, for which a safe dose could not be established from the tolerance data. BHA is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract; it is metabolised rapidly and excreted as such and as metabolites in the urine and faeces. The proportions of the different metabolites vary depending on species and dose. No accumulation of BHA or metabolites was observed in tissues. The Panel concluded that no concern for consumer safety would arise from the use of BHA as a feed additive at the maximum concentration of 150 mg/kg feed. The additive should be considered a skin, eye irritant and a potential skin sensitiser. Exposure of the user via inhalation was considered unlikely; therefore, a risk is not expected. The use of BHA at the maximum concentration proposed is unlikely to pose a risk to the environment. BHA is authorised as an antioxidant for food use at comparable use levels, therefore, no studies were required to demonstrate the efficacy of BHA as an antioxidant in feedingstuffs for all animal species.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Gabriele Aquilina, Giovanna Azimonti, Vasileios Bampidis, Maria de Lourdes Bastos, Georges Bories, Andrew Chesson, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Gerhard Flachowsky, Jürgen Gropp, Boris Kolar, Maryline Kouba, Marta López‐Alonso, Secundino López Puente, Alberto Mantovani, Baltasar Mayo, Fernando Ramos, Guido Rychen, Maria Saarela, Roberto Edoardo Villa, Robert John Wallace and Pieter Wester.
Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed
feedap [at]
EFSA Journal 2018;16(3):5215 [18 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
European Commission