Safety and efficacy of furfuryl and furan derivatives belonging to chemical group 14 when used as flavourings for all animal species and categories

sensory additives, feed flavourings, furfuryl derivatives, furan derivatives, safety, chemical group 14
First published in the EFSA Journal
12 février 2016
26 janvier 2016
Scientific Opinion


Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the safety and efficacy of 18 compounds belonging to chemical group 14 (furfuryl and furan derivatives with and without additional side-chain substituents and heteroatoms). They are currently authorised as flavours in food. This opinion concerns 13 compounds from this group. The FEEDAP Panel concludes that all compounds except 5‑methylfurfural are safe at the proposed maximum use level for all animal species: furfural and furfuryl alcohol at 5 mg/kg complete feed; methyl 2‑furoate and furfuryl acetate at 0.5 mg/kg complete feed; bis‑(2-methyl-3-furyl) disulfide, furanmethanethiol, S‑furfuryl acetothioate, difurfuryl disulfide, methyl furfuryl sulfide, 2‑methylfuran-3-thiol, methyl furfuryl disulfide and methyl 2‑methyl-3-furyl disulfide at 0.05 mg/kg complete feed. 5‑Methylfurfural is safe at the proposed use level of 0.5 mg/kg complete feed for cattle, salmonids and non-food producing animals and at the use level of 0.3 mg/kg complete feed for pigs and poultry. No safety concern would arise for the consumer from the use of these compounds up to the highest safe level in feeds. Hazards for skin and eye contact and respiratory exposure are recognised for the majority of the compounds under application. Most are classified as irritating to the respiratory system. The concentrations considered safe for the target species are unlikely to have detrimental effects on the terrestrial and freshwater environments. Since all the compounds under assessment are used in food as flavourings, and their function in feed is essentially the same as that in food, no further demonstration of efficacy is necessary. In the absence of data on the stability in water for drinking, the FEEDAP Panel is unable to conclude on the safety or efficacy of the substances under this mode of delivery.

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, Secundino López Puente, Marta López-Alonso, 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
EFSA Journal 2016;14(2):4389
Question Number
On request from
European Commission