Re‐evaluation of propane‐1,2‐diol alginate (E 405) as a food additive | European Food Safety Authority Skip to main content

Re‐evaluation of propane‐1,2‐diol alginate (E 405) as a food additive


Panel members at the time of adoption

Peter Aggett, Fernando Aguilar, Riccardo Crebelli, Birgit Dusemund, Metka Filipič, 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.


The present opinion deals with the re‐evaluation of propane‐1,2‐diol alginate (E 405) when used as a food additive. The Panel noted that absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) data on propane‐1,2‐diol alginate gave evidence for the hydrolysis of this additive into propane‐1,2‐diol and alginic acid. These two compounds have been recently re‐evaluated for their safety of use as food additives (EFSA ANS Panel, 2017, 2018). Consequently, the Panel considered in this opinion the major toxicokinetic and toxicological data of these two hydrolytic derivatives. No adverse effects were reported in subacute and subchronic dietary studies with propane‐1,2‐diol alginate. The available data did not indicate a genotoxic concern for propane‐1,2‐diol alginate (E 405) when used as a food additive. Propane‐1,2‐diol alginate, alginic acid and propane‐1,2‐diol were not of concern with respect to carcinogenicity. The Panel considered that any adverse effect of propane‐1,2‐diol alginate would be due to propane‐1,2‐diol. Therefore, the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of the food additive E 405 is determined by the amount of free propane‐1,2‐diol and the propane‐1,2‐diol released from the food additive after hydrolysis. According to the EU specification, the concentration of free and bound propane‐1,2‐diol amounts to a maximum of 45% on a weight basis. On the worst‐case assumption that 100% of propane‐1,2‐diol would be systemically available and considering the ADI for propane‐1,2‐diol of 25 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day, the Panel allocated an ADI of 55 mg/kg bw per day for propane‐1,2‐diol alginate. The Panel concluded that exposure estimates did not exceed the ADI in any of the population groups from the use of propane‐1,2‐diol alginate (E 405) as a food additive. Therefore, the Panel concluded that there is no safety concern at the authorised use levels.