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Safety of astaxanthin for its use as a novel food in food supplements



Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the safety of astaxanthin when used as a novel food in food supplements at maximum levels of 8 mg/day, taking into account the overall cumulative intake of astaxanthin from all food sources. In 2014, the NDA Panel assessed the safety of the novel astaxanthin‐rich ingredient derived from microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis in the context of an application submitted under Regulation (EC) No 258/1997. In that opinion, the NDA Panel considered that the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for astaxanthin was 0.034 mg/kg body weight (bw) set by the EFSA FEEDAP Panel in 2014. In 2019, the FEEDAP Panel adopted an opinion which concerned the renewal of the authorisation of dimethyldisuccinate‐astaxanthin and a new use of the additive for crustaceans and other fish than salmonids. In that assessment, the FEEDAP Panel derived a new ADI of 0.2 mg astaxanthin/kg bw which replaced the ADI of 0.034 mg/kg bw established in 2014. By taking into account an updated exposure assessment for astaxanthin from the background diet (fish and crustaceans) in combination with 8 mg from food supplements, the NDA Panel concludes that (i) such combined exposure to astaxanthin is safe for adults, (ii) 14 to < 18 years old adolescents reach the ADI, and (iii) the ADI is exceeded by 28% in children aged 10 to < 14 years and up to 524% in infants aged 4–6 months.