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Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of Quinoline Yellow (E 104) as a food additive


Panel members at the time of adoption

F. Aguilar, U.R. Charrondiere, B. Dusemund, P. Galtier, J. Gilbert, D.M. Gott, S. Grilli, R. Guertler, J. Koenig, C. Lambré, J-C. Larsen, J-C. Leblanc, A. Mortensen, D. Parent-Massin, I. Pratt, I.M.C.M. Rietjens, I. Stankovic, P. Tobback, T. Verguieva, R.A. Woutersen


The Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food provides a scientific opinion re-evaluating the safety of Quinoline Yellow (E 104). Quinoline Yellow has been previously evaluated by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) in 1975, 1978 and 1984, and the EU Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) in 1984. Both committees established an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 0-10 mg/kg body weight (bw). Studies not evaluated by JECFA and the SCF included a chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity study with a reproductive toxicity phase in rats and a study on behaviour in children by McCann et al. from 2007. The latter study concluded that exposure to a mixture of colours including Quinoline Yellow resulted in increased hyperactivity in 8- to 9-years old children. The Panel concurs with the conclusion from a previous EFSA opinion on the McCann et al. study that the findings of the study cannot be used as a basis for altering the ADI. The Panel notes that Quinoline Yellow was negative in in vitro genotoxicity as well as in long term carcinogenicity studies. The Panel concludes that the currently available database on semi-chronic, reproductive, developmental and long-term toxicity of Quinoline Yellow, including a study in rats not apparently taken into consideration by JECFA or the SCF, provides a rationale for re-definition of the ADI. Using the NOAEL of 50 mg/kg bw/day provided by the chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity study with a reproductive toxicity phase carried out in rats and applying an uncertainty factor of 100 to this NOAEL, the Panel establishes an ADI of 0.5 mg/kg bw/day. The Panel notes that at the maximum levels of use of Quinoline Yellow, refined intake estimates are generally well over the ADI of 0.5 mg/kg bw/day.