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Re‐evaluation of benzyl alcohol (E 1519) as food additive

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The Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF) provided a scientific opinion re‐evaluating the safety of benzyl alcohol (E 1519) when used as a food additive. The Panel considered that adequate exposure and toxicity data were available. Benzyl alcohol (E 1519) is authorised as a food additive in the EU in accordance with Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008. The Panel considered benzyl alcohol of low acute toxicity with no concern with respect to genotoxicity and carcinogenicity and established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 4 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day based on a no observable adverse effect level (NOAEL) of 400 mg/kg bw per day from the carcinogenicity study in rats. The mean and high exposure estimates in the refined exposure scenarios were maximally 0.27 and 0.81 mg/kg bw per day in toddlers, respectively. The exposure estimates to benzyl alcohol (E 1519) were below the ADI of 4 mg/kg bw per day in all population groups. The Panel noted that also the exposure in the regulatory maximum level exposure assessment scenario is below the ADI in all population groups. The Panel concluded that the exposure to benzyl alcohol (E 1519) does not raise a safety concern at the reported uses and use levels.