Re-evaluation of acacia gum (E 414) as a food additive
The Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) provides a scientific opinion re-evaluating the safety of acacia gum (E 414) as a food additive. In the EU, acacia gum has not been formally evaluated by the Scientific Committee for Food (SCF), and therefore, no ADI has been allocated. However, it was accepted for use in weaning food (SCF, 1991). In 1999, the SCF considered ‘that the use of acacia gum/gum arabic in coatings for nutrient preparations containing trace elements is acceptable provided carry-over levels in infant formulae, follow-on formulae or FSMP do not exceed 10 mg/kg’. Acacia gum was evaluated by JECFA in 1982 and 1990 and the specifications were amended in 1998. Based on the lack of adverse effects in the available toxicity studies, an ADI ‘not specified’ was allocated. Following the conceptual framework for the risk assessment of certain food additives re-evaluated under Commission Regulation (EU) No 257/2010, the Panel considered that adequate exposure and toxicity data were available. Acacia gum is unlikely to be absorbed intact and is slightly fermented by intestinal microbiota. No adverse effects were reported in subchronic and carcinogenicity studies at the highest dose tested and there is no concern with respect to the genotoxicity. Oral daily intake of a large amount of acacia gum up to 30,000 mg acacia gum/person per day (approximately equivalent 430 mg acacia gum/kg bw per day) for up to 18 days was well tolerated in adults but some individuals experienced flatulence which was considered by the Panel as undesirable but not adverse effect. The Panel concluded that there is no need for a numerical ADI for acacia gum (E 414), and there is no safety concern for the general population at the refined exposure assessment of acacia gum (E 414) as a food additive.