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Scientific Report of EFSA on the risk assessment of salts of authorised acids, phenols or alcohols for use in food contact materials [1]

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Following a request from the European Commission for scientific assistance, the EFSA examined whether the current risk assessments of authorised acids, phenols and alcohols as well as these of the cations lithium, copper, barium, cobalt and manganese cover also their salts for use in food contact materials or there is a need for specific evaluation of the salts themselves. To answer the question, EFSA considered the possible concentration of the salts in the stomach which cannot exceed 60 mg/kg, the low pH of the gastric fluids, the dissociation constants of the acids authorised already by August 2009, the solubility of the salts as well as the complexing capacity of some of the cations and acids. Based on these parameters, the EFSA concluded that in all cases the salts will dissociate in the human stomach to the corresponding metal ions and the phenols, alcohols and acids. This is true in most cases even for complexing acids like ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. However, further considerations may be needed for some complex salts to decide the degree of dissociation. The overall conclusion is that for food contact applications the risk assessments of the acids, phenols and alcohols and of these cations can also be used for their salts.