Scientific Opinion on the safety of Glycerol Esters of Tall Oil Rosin for the proposed uses as a food additive | European Food Safety Authority Skip to main content

Scientific Opinion on the safety of Glycerol Esters of Tall Oil Rosin for the proposed uses as a food additive


Panel members at the time of adoption

F. Aguilar, B. Dusemund, P. Galtier, J. Gilbert, D.M. Gott, S. Grilli, R. Gürtler, J. König, 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 evaluating the safety of glycerol esters of tall oil rosin (GETOR) for the proposed use as a stabilising and emulsifying food additive in certain beverages up to a maximum level of 100 mg/l. In view of the limited toxicity studies for GETOR, analytical data were submitted to demonstrate that GETOR are chemically equivalent to glycerol esters of wood rosin (GEWR) which have already been authorised as a food additive by Directive 95/2/EC. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives decided that it could not evaluate GETOR without additional information on its composition, in order to clarify the extent and significance of any differences relative to other glycerol esters of rosins. GETOR are obtained by esterification of tall oil rosin and are described as a complex mixture of mono-, di- and tri-glycerol esters of resin acids (fraction (a)). Besides these esters, free resin acids (fraction (b)) and other saponifiable and unsaponifiable substances (fraction (c)) including sulphur compounds are present in GETOR. Conclusive analytical data on the proportions of fractions (a), (b), and (c) are not provided and also data on the identity and quantity of their individual components are absent. The results of two acute oral toxicity studies are the only toxicological data available for GETOR. Overall the Panel concluded that the chemical and toxicological characterisation of GETOR is not adequate. The Panel also could not conclude that GETOR is chemically equivalent to GEWR thus the toxicological data obtained with GEWR could not be used for read across. Therefore, the Panel concluded that the available data are too limited to conclude on the safety of GETOR as a food additive at the proposed uses and use levels.