Re‐evaluation of gellan gum (E 418) as food additive

gellan gum (E 418), food additive
First published in the EFSA Journal
20 June 2018
17 May 2018
Scientific Opinion


The Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) provides a scientific opinion re‐evaluating the safety of gellan gum (E 418) as a food additive. 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. Based on the reported use levels, a refined exposure of up to 72.4 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day in toddlers at the 95th percentile was estimated. Gellan gum is unlikely to be absorbed intact and would not be fermented by human intestinal microbiota. There is no concern with respect to carcinogenicity and genotoxicity. No adverse effects were reported in chronic studies at the highest doses tested in mice and rats (3,627 and 1,460 mg gellan gum/kg bw per day, respectively). Repeated oral intake up to 200 mg/kg bw per day for 3 weeks had no adverse effects in humans. The Panel concluded that there is no need for a numerical acceptable daily intake (ADI) for gellan gum (E 418), and that there is no safety concern at the refined exposure assessment for the reported uses and use levels of gellan gum (E 418) as a food additive. The Panel recommended to better define the specifications of gellan gum including the absence of viable cells of the microbial source and the presence of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), protein and residual bacterial enzymatic activities.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Peter Aggett, Fernando Aguilar, Riccardo Crebelli, Birgit Dusemund, Metka Filipic,Maria Jose Frutos, Pierre Galtier, David Gott, Ursula Gundert-Remy, Gunter Georg Kuhnle, Claude Lambré, Jean-Charles Leblanc, Inger Therese Lillegaard, Peter Moldeus, Alicja Mortensen, Agneta Oskarsson, Ivan Stankovic, Ine Waalkens-Berendsen, Rudolf Antonius Woutersen, Matthew Wright and Maged Younes.
Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
fip [at]
EFSA Journal 2018;16(6):5296
Question Number
On request from
European Commission