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Statement on the safety of ‘Cetyl Myristoleate Complex’ as an ingredient in food supplements


Panel members at the time of adoption

Carlo Agostoni, Roberto Berni Canani, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Sébastien La Vieille, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Martin Stern, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck and Hans Verhagen.

Competing interests: One member of the Panel did not participate in the discussion on the subject referred to above because of potential conflicts of interest identified in accordance with the EFSA policy on declarations of interests.


Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to update its opinion on the safety of ‘Cetyl Myristoleate Complex’ (CMC) as a novel food ingredient in the light of additional information submitted by the applicant. In its previous opinion of 2010, the Panel concluded that the safety of CMC as an ingredient in food supplements at an intake of 3.3 g per day has not been established. This conclusion was based on the considerations that in the absence of appropriate data on absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, the provided toxicological data were insufficient. In 2012, the Commission requested EFSA to review and update its opinion by taking into account a new subchronic 90-day oral toxicity study conducted with “Cetylated Fatty Acid Esters Powder 50 %” in mice. In its opinion of 2013, the Panel considered that a new 90-day study cannot serve as a reliable source of information supporting the absence of adverse effects of CMC. The dossier of this new mandate contains three new references which were not submitted and hence not considered in the previous assessments. The Panel notes that two references do not address the concerns expressed by the Panel in its previous assessments. The third reference provided is a report on an in vitro hydrolysis study demonstrating a low rate of hydrolysis of cetyl myristoleate and cetyl myristate. The Panel notes the low rate of hydrolysis of the two esters found in this in vitro hydrolysis study and therefore reiterates the need for adequate safety information on the unhydrolysed esters contained in CMC as expressed in its opinions of 2010 and 2013. The Panel concludes that, even after considering the newly submitted information, the safety of ‘Cetyl Myristoleate Complex’ has not been established.

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