The technical report from JECFA’s 76th meeting in Geneva (held in June 2012) is now available. The consideration of magnesium dihydrogen diphosphate led JECFA to recommend an assessment of total dietary exposure to magnesium from food additives and other sources; it also suggested that the maximum tolerable daily intake (MTDI) of 70 mg/kg bw for phosphate salts (expressed as phosphorus) may be overly conservative and should be reviewed, as the basis for its derivation may not be relevant to humans. Meanwhile, “not specified” acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) were allocated to a number of enzyme preparations from microorganisms, deemed to be of very low toxic potential at current expected levels of exposure. Inadequate data were available to establish an ADI for mineral oil (medium and low viscosity) classes II and III, and the temporary group ADI was withdrawn. Groups of flavouring agents evaluated using JECFA’s standard procedure included:

  • aliphatic and aromatic amines and amides
  • aliphatic and aromatic ethers
  • aliphatic linear α,β-unsaturated aldehydes, acids and related alcohols, acetals and esters
  • amino acids and related substances
  • epoxides
  • linear and branched-chain aliphatic, unsaturated, unconjugated alcohols, aldehydes, acids and related esters
  • miscellaneous nitrogen-containing substances
  • phenol and phenol derivatives
  • pyrazine derivatives
  • pyridine, pyrrole and quinoline derivatives
  • saturated aliphatic acyclic branched-chain primary alcohols, aldehydes and acids
  • simple aliphatic and aromatic sulphides and thiols
  • sulphur-containing heterocyclic compounds

Most individual substances were considered to present no safety concern for human health at current estimated levels of intake as food additives. For eleven, however, additional data were requested.

The procedure could not be applied to the following groups of flavouring agents due to unresolved toxicological concerns:

  • aliphatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and related esters, sulphides, disulphides and ethers containing furan substitution
  • furfuryl alcohol and related substances (it was noted that the existing group ADI for these substances will need to be reconsidered at a future meeting)


Seventy-sixth report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Geneva, 5-14 June 2012.


The above item was taken from the January–February 2013 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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