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Safety evaluation of a food enzyme containing trypsin, chymotrypsin, elastase and carboxypeptidase from porcine pancreas

on the Wiley Online Library


Panel members at the time of adoption

Vittorio Silano, José Manuel Barat Baviera, Claudia Bolognesi, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Riccardo Crebelli, David Michael Gott, Konrad Grob, Claude Lambré, Evgenia Lampi, Marcel Mengelers, Alicja Mortensen, Gilles Rivière, Inger‐Lise Steffensen, Christina Tlustos, Henk Van Loveren, Laurence Vernis, Holger Zorn and Andrew Chesson.


The food enzyme is a protease complex, containing trypsin (EC, chymotrypsin (EC, pancreatic elastase (EC and carboxypeptidase B (EC, obtained from porcine pancreas by Neova Technologies Inc. The food enzyme is intended to be used for hydrolysis of whey proteins employed as ingredients of infant formulae, follow‐on formulae and in food for special medical purposes (tube feeding). Based on maximum use levels and the maximum permitted protein content in infant formula, dietary exposure to the food enzyme–total organic solids (TOS) was estimated to be 36 mg TOS/kg body weight (bw) per day for infants. The Panel estimates that this value covers all population groups. In the toxicological evaluation, clinical studies with pharmaceutical preparations containing pancreatic enzymes were considered. Hypersensitivity to the pharmaceuticals was identified as the major side effect. However, the intact enzymes are removed during preparation of food products; therefore, the Panel considers that the likelihood of adverse effects of the intact enzyme to occur is small. Low molecular weight peptides derived from the enzyme are still likely to be present in the protein hydrolysate. The Panel considered that a risk of allergic sensitisation to these peptides after consumption of products prepared by hydrolysis of milk, cannot be excluded in infants, but the likelihood to occur is considered to be low. Based on the origin of the food enzyme from edible parts of animals, the data provided by the applicant, supported by the evaluation of clinical studies with pharmaceutical preparations based on pancreatic enzymes, the Panel concluded that the porcine pancreatic enzymes do not give rise to safety concern under the intended conditions of use.