Safety evaluation of the food enzyme α‐amylase from a genetically modified Aspergillus niger (strain NZYM‐MC)

food enzyme, a-amylase, 4-a-D-glucan glucanohydrolase, 1,4-a-D-glucan glucanohydrolase, EC, Aspergillus niger, genetically modified microorganism
First published in the EFSA Journal
31 October 2018
27 September 2018
Scientific Opinion


The food enzyme alpha‐amylase (4‐α‐d‐glucan glucanohydrolase; EC is produced with the genetically modified strain of Aspergillus niger by Novozymes A/S. The genetic modifications do not give rise to safety concerns. The food enzyme is free from viable cells of the production organism and recombinant DNA. This α‐amylase is intended to be used in starch processing for glucose syrups production, beverage alcohol (distilling) processes and baking processes. Residual amounts of total organic solids (TOS) are removed by distillation and by the purification steps applied during the production of glucose syrups, consequently dietary exposure was not calculated. For baking processes, based on the proposed maximum use levels, dietary exposure to the food enzyme–TOS was estimated to be up to 3.784 mg TOS/kg body weight per day in European populations. Genotoxicity tests did not raise a safety concern. The systemic toxicity was assessed by means of a repeated dose 90‐day oral toxicity study in rodents. The Panel identified a no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) at the highest dose of 1,400 mg TOS/kg body weight (bw) per day. Similarity of the amino acid sequence to those of known allergens was searched and two matches were found. The Panel considered that, under the intended condition of use, the risk of allergic sensitisation and elicitation reactions upon dietary exposure to this food enzyme cannot be excluded, but the likelihood of such reactions to occur is considered to be low. Based on the data provided, the removal of TOS during the production of glucose syrups and the derived margin of exposure for baking processes, the Panel concluded that this food enzyme does not raise safety concerns under the intended conditions of use.

Panel members at the time of adoption

José Manuel Barat Baviera, Claudia Bolognesi, Beat Johannes Brüschweiler, Andrew Chesson, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Riccardo Crebelli, David Michael Gott, Konrad Grob, Evgenia Lampi, Alicja Mortensen, Gilles Riviere, Vittorio Silano, Inger‐Lise Steffensen, Christina Tlustos, Henk van Loveren, Laurence Vernis and Holger Zorn.
Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids
fip [at]
EFSA Journal 2018;16(10):5451
Question Number
On request from
European Commission

The full opinion will be published in accordance with Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008 once the decision on confidentiality will be received from the European Commission.