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Follow‐up of the re‐evaluation of quillaia extract (E 999) as a food additive and safety of the proposed extension of uses

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Quillaia extract (E 999) was re‐evaluated in 2019 by the EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF). EFSA derived an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 3 mg saponins/kg bw per day for E 999. Following a European Commission call for data to submit data to fill the data gaps, the present follow‐up opinion assesses data provided by interested business operators (IBOs) to support an amendment of the EU specifications for E 999. Additionally, this opinion deals with the assessment of the proposed extension of use for E 999 in food supplements supplied in a solid and liquid form, excluding food supplements for infants and young children and, as a carrier in botanical nutrients. The Panel concluded that the proposed extension of use, if authorised, could result in an exceedance of the ADI at the maximum of the ranges of the mean for children, adolescents and the elderly, and for all populations at the 95th percentile. An additional proposed extension of use for E 999 to be used as a carrier for glazing agents on entire fresh fruits and vegetables has been received. Since no information on the proposed use levels of E 999 on a saponins content basis has been provided by this applicant, the Panel was not able to evaluate the safety of this extension of use. Considering the technical data submitted, the Panel recommended some modifications of the existing EU specifications for E 999, mainly to lower the limits for lead, mercury and arsenic and to include a maximum limit for cadmium and for calcium oxalate. The Panel also recommended that the limits would be expressed on a saponins basis. The Panel proposed to revise the definition of E 999 to better describe the composition in a qualitative way.