Safety of iron milk proteinate as a novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 and bioavailability of iron from this source in the context of Directive 2002/46/EC
Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on iron milk proteinate as a novel food (NF) pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 and to address the bioavailability of iron from this source in the context of Directive 2002/46/EC. The NF is a complex of iron, casein and phosphate, which is produced from iron salts (i.e. ferric chloride or ferric sulfate), sodium caseinate and potassium orthophosphate. The NF is proposed by the applicant to be used as a source of iron, of which the NF contains 2–4%. The applicant intends to market the NF as an ingredient in a number of food categories; in food supplements, in total diet replacement for weight control and in foods for special medical purposes. The Panel considers that, taking into account the composition of the NF and the proposed conditions of use, consumption of the NF is not nutritionally disadvantageous. The studies provided for ADME and bioavailability indicate that iron from the NF is bioavailable. Overall, the evidence indicates that upon ingestion the NF undergoes digestion into small peptides to yield iron‐bound caseinophosphopeptides that are normal constituents of the human diet, and that the iron from the NF does not bypass the homeostatic control of iron as a nutrient. The Panel concludes that the NF, iron milk proteinate, is safe under the proposed conditions of use. The Panel also concludes that the NF is a source from which iron is bioavailable.