Safety evaluation of the food enzyme l‐ascorbate oxidase from Cucurbita pepo L. and Cucurbita moschata Duchesne

ood enzyme,L-ascorbate oxidase, EC, peel,Cucurbita pepoL.,Cucurbita moschata Duchesne
First published in the EFSA Journal
14 juin 2019
22 mai 2019
Scientific Opinion


The food enzyme l‐ascorbate: oxygen oxidoreductase (EC is extracted from fruit peels of Cucurbita pepo L. and Cucurbita moschata Duchesne by Nagase (Europa) GmbH. This enzyme is intended to be used in baking and cereal‐based processes. Based on maximum use levels recommended for the respective food processes and individual data from the EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database, dietary exposure to the food enzyme–total organic solids (TOS) was estimated to be up to 5.950 mg TOS/kg body weight per day in European populations. This exposure is in the same order of magnitude for infants and toddlers; but for children, adolescents, adults and the elderly it is one order of magnitude higher than the exposure to the fraction of the fruit peels comparable to the food enzyme–TOS. The Panel, while recognising the order of magnitude of difference in the exposure estimates, considers that any realistic exposure derived from the use of the food enzyme would be considerably lower and likely to be within the range of exposure through a typical diet. The Panel agreed that the requirements for exclusion of toxicological data were met. Amino acid sequence similarity to known allergens was searched and no match was found. The Panel considered that the risk of allergic sensitisation and elicitation reactions upon dietary exposure to this food enzyme cannot be excluded, but are not expected to exceed the likelihood of the allergic reactions following consumption of pumpkin or zucchini per se, which is low. Based on the data provided and the origin of the food enzyme from edible parts of C. pepo L. and C. moschata Duchesne, the Panel considers that the food enzyme l‐ascorbate oxidase 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 Rivière, 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 2019;17(6):5740
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 decision on confidentiality will be received from the European Commission.