Dietary exposure to aluminium-containing food additives

Question Number
EFSA-Q-2013-00312
Issued
13 March 2013
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Abstract

No abstract available

Summary

In December 2012, the European Commission (EC) asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to support the EC in the preparation of an EU position for provisions for aluminium-containing food additives of the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA) at the 45th Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) held in Beijing on 18 to 22 March 2013. EFSA carried out a dietary exposure assessment for aluminium-containing food additives by using the maximum levels as defined in the recommendations for provisions for aluminium-containing food additives of the GSFA (CX/FA 13/45/8, December 2012) for the following five aluminium-containing food additives included in the GSFA:

  • E 523: aluminium ammonium sulphate
  • E 541 (i, ii): sodium aluminium phosphates (acidic and basic)
  • E 554: sodium aluminosilicate
  • E 556: calcium aluminium silicate
  • E 559: aluminium silicate.

For the dietary exposure estimates, EFSA used the maximum levels proposed for the five aluminium-containing food additives according to the following 2 scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: maximum levels recommended for adoption by the CCFA (recommendation 2)
  • Scenario 2: maximum levels: (i) recommended for adoption by the CCFA (recommendation 2), (ii) recommended to be discussed further (recommendation 3) and (iii) recommended to be circulated for comments (recommendation 4)

Food consumption data of European countries from the EFSA Comprehensive Food Consumption database were used (EFSA, 2011a). Depending on the dietary surveys, the exposure to the five aluminium-containing food additives for scenario 1 in five population groups (toddlers, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly) ranged from 2.3 to 76.9 mg/kg body weight (bw)/week at the mean and from 7.4 to 145.9 mg/kg bw/week at the 95th percentile. For scenario 2, the results ranged from 18.6 to 156.2 mg/kg bw/week at the mean and from 35.3 to 286.8 mg/kg bw/week at the 95th percentile.

In 2008, the EFSA Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Food Contact Materials (AFC) established a Tolerable Weekly Intake (TWI) of 1 mg/kg bw from all sources of aluminium. In 2011, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) established a Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) of 2 mg/kg bw. The mean and 95th percentile dietary exposure estimates to five aluminium-containing food additives (E 523, E 541 (i, ii), E 554, E 556 and E 559) for five population groups (toddlers, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly) largely exceed the TWI established by EFSA and the PTWI established by the JECFA.

Published
5 April 2013