Safety of an essential oil from Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum (Link) letsw. var. Vulkan when used as a sensory additive in feed for all animal species

Origanum vulgare, essential oil, carvacrol, consumer safety, target animal safety
First published in the EFSA Journal
25 luglio 2019
4 luglio 2019
Scientific Opinion


An essential oil from Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum var. Vulkan (DOS 00001) is intended to be used as a sensory additive in feed for all animal species. In a previous opinion of the Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP), the Panel concluded that the recommended use level of 150 mg additive/kg feed was safe for chickens for fattening and weaned piglets and this conclusion was extended to all poultry and porcine species grown for meat production. The Panel also concluded that the dose of 500 mg additive/head and day (equivalent to ~25 mg/kg complete feed) was safe for dairy cows. Since the recommended use level differs between the dairy cow and the non‐ruminants tested, the lower use level of 25 mg additive/kg feed was applied to all target animals not included above. The Panel also concluded that the additive was safe for the consumers and the environment, but should be considered as an irritant to skin and eyes and a potential skin and respiratory sensitiser in susceptible individuals. In the present application, the applicant has provided a new tolerance study in dairy cows to support the safety of a higher use level of 150 mg/kg for all animal species. Data on residues in milk from dairy cows fed the additive at the maximum recommended use level where also provided to assess consumer exposure. The Panel concluded that the essential oil under assessment is safe for cows at the recommended use level of 150 mg additive/kg feed. Since safety has been demonstrated in three major species with a comparable margin of safety, this conclusion on safety is extrapolated to all animal species. No concerns for consumer safety were identified following the application of the additive at the proposed use level in animal nutrition.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Giovanna Azimonti, Vasileios Bampidis Maria de Lourdes Bastos, Henrik Christensen, Birgit Dusemund, Maryline Kouba, Mojca Kos Durjava, Marta López‐Alonso, Secundino López Puente, Francesca Marcon, Baltasar Mayo, Alena Pechová, Mariana Petkova, Fernando Ramos, Yolanda Sanz, Roberto Edoardo Villa and Ruud Woutersen
Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed
feedap [at]
EFSA Journal 2019;17(7):5794
Question Number
On request from
European Commission