Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of malic acid and a mixture of sodium and calcium malate when used as technological additives for all animal species

malic acid, calcium malate, sodium malate, technological additive, preservative, acidity regulator
First published in the EFSA Journal
18 febbraio 2014
29 gennaio 2014
Scientific Opinion


An application has been made for the re-authorisation of malic acid as a preservative in feed and an acidity regulator in feed for cats and dogs and for the authorisation of a mixture of sodium and calcium salts of malic acid to be used as an acidity regulator in feed for all animal species. Evidence from feeding studies with dogs, poultry, piglets, veal calves and ruminants showed that the highest typical use level of 1 600 mg malic acid/kg complete feedingstuffs (supplied as acid or salts) is safe for all animal species. Setting a maximum content was not considered as necessary. Malic acid and its sodium and calcium salts are permitted food additives without limit in the EU. The use of malic acid and its sodium and calcium salts in animal nutrition is safe for the consumer. Malic acid and its salts are considered as strongly irritant to the skin and mucosa and as a particular risk to the eyes. Exposure via inhalation for those handling the additives is also considered to present a risk. Malates are components of the diet of humans and animals and are rapidly and completely metabolised to CO2. Consequently, their use in animal production would not pose a risk to the environment. Malic acid is used in food as a preservative. It is reasonable to expect that the effect seen in food will be observed in feed when it is used at comparable concentrations and under similar conditions. However, the FEEDAP Panel has reservations about the effectiveness of malic acid as a preservative in complete feedingstuffs with a moisture content of ≤ 12 %. The ability of malic acid and its salts to act as acidity regulators in feed has not been demonstrated.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Gabriele Aquilina, Vasileios Bampidis, Maria De Lourdes Bastos, Lucio Guido Costa, Gerhard Flachowsky, Mikolaj Antoni Gralak, Christer Hogstrand, Lubomir Leng, Secundino López-Puente, Giovanna Martelli, Baltasar Mayo, Fernando Ramos, Derek Renshaw, Guido Rychen, Maria Saarela, Kristen Sejrsen, Patrick Van Beelen, Robert John Wallace and Johannes Westendorf
Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed
EFSA Journal 2014;12(2):3563
Question Number
On request from
European Commission