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Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of sorbic acid and potassium sorbate when used as technological additives for all animal species based on two dossiers from Nutrinova Nutrition Specialties & Food Ingredients GmbH


Panel members at the time of adoption

Gabriele Aquilina, Vasileios Bampidis, Maria de Lourdes Bastos, Georges Bories, Andrew Chesson, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Maria Luisa Fernandez-Cruz, Gerhard Flachowsky, Jürgen Gropp, Boris Kolar, Maryline Kouba, Secundino Lopez Puente, Marta Lopez-Alonso, Alberto Mantovani, Baltasar Mayo, Fernando Ramos, Guido Rychen, Maria Saarela, Roberto Edoardo Villa, Robert John Wallace and Pieter Wester.


Sorbic acid and potassium sorbate are already authorised for use in food and feed as preservatives. Sorbic acid and potassium sorbate are safe when used at the maximum proposed dose in feed for pigs, poultry, dogs and cats (2 500 (sorbic acid) and 3 400 (potassium sorbate) mg/kg complete feed) and young ruminants (6 700 (sorbic acid) and 9 000 (potassium sorbate) mg/kg complete feed). This conclusion is extended to all other animal species at maximum concentrations of 2 500 (sorbic acid) and 3 400 (potassium sorbate) mg/kg complete feed. Both additives are considered safe for target animals when used in water for drinking, provided that the same maximum exposure is respected. No residues of sorbic acid or potassium ions are expected in edible products of food-producing animals when fed sorbic acid or potassium sorbate at the maximum proposed concentrations. Therefore, their use in feed up to the maximum proposed level is considered safe for the consumer. Sorbic acid and potassium sorbate are skin, eye and respiratory tract irritants. The use of sorbic acid and its potassium salt in animal nutrition would not pose a risk to the environment. As sorbic acid and potassium sorbate are food additives authorised within the EU for use as preservatives, it is reasonable to expect that the effect in food will be observed in feed when used at comparable concentrations and under similar conditions. The Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) has reservations about the effectiveness of sorbic acid and its potassium salt as preservatives in complete feedingstuffs with a moisture content of ≤ 12 %.

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