Safety of ammonium formate (E 295) for all animal species

Ammonium formate, formamide, technological additive, safety for the target species, safety for the consumer
First published in the EFSA Journal
30 aprile 2020
18 marzo 2020
Scientific Opinion


Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the safety of ammonium formate for all animal species. In 2015, the FEEDAP Panel delivered an opinion on the safety and efficacy of ammonium formate, calcium formate and sodium formate. In that opinion, the Panel considered the unavoidable presence of formamide, as a contaminant of ammonium formate, of concern for developmental toxicity for reproduction animals and for carcinogenicity for non‐food‐producing animals. Regarding the safety for the consumer, the Panel concluded that: the use of the additive in dairy animals and laying poultry may raise concerns due to the potential exposure of consumers to formamide. In the current submission, the applicant proposed to reduce the maximum content of ammonium formate in feed to 2,000 mg formic acid equivalent/kg feed from the previously proposed 12,000 mg/kg for pigs and 10,000 mg/kg for all other animal species. Based on the calculation of the maximum safe concentration of formamide in feed, the FEEDAP Panel cannot conclude on the safety of ammonium formate in complete feed for laying hens and sows, since the calculate maximum concentration of formamide in feed (11.5 mg formamide/kg) exceed the maximum safe concentration in feed for these species (5.6 mg formamide/kg for laying hens and 9.9 mg formamide/kg for sows). Based on the results of a residue study in eggs, the use of ammonium formate in animal nutrition at a maximum content of 2,000 mg formic acid equivalent/kg complete feed would not result in concerns on the safety for the consumer.

Ammonium formate
Cas: 540-69-2
Inchi: InChI=1S/CH2O2.H3N/c2-1-3;/h1H,(H,2,3);1H3
Iupac: azanium;formate
Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed
feedap [at]
EFSA Journal 2020;18(4):6076
Question Number
On request from
European Commission