Celanese Leads Scientific Sorbate Study
Major US-based chemical company Celanese has initiated and will lead a consortium to conduct a toxicological study on potassium sorbate and sorbic acid.
The action is in response to the recommendation made by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in July 2015 for a temporary lowering of the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of sorbic acid (E200) and potassium sorbate (E202) because of a lack of available scientific data.
Both sorbic acid and potassium sorbate are preservatives used in many common food and beverage products. EFSA said present data on reproductive and developmental toxicity provides a reason to revise the group ADI of 25mg per kilogram of bodyweight per day, which was set by the Scientific Committee on Food in 1996. The temporary ADI has been set at 3 mg for sorbic acid and its potassium salt.
Celanese said the objective of the consortium, which is made up of sorbate industry stakeholders and producers, is to generate new and robust scientific data regarding the safety of the ADI level for human consumption. The Texas-headquartered company said it has been engaged in an ongoing and constructive dialog both with EFSA and the European Commission’s Directorate General Health and Food Safety (DG Santé) to contribute to the review.
Members of the consortium include the Chinese firms Wanglong Group, Nantong Acetic Acid Chemical, Shandong Kunda Biotechnology and Jinneng Science & Technology, as well as Daicel Corp. of Japan. Associate members that will fund and perform the extended one-generation reproduction toxicity study include Brenntag Holding, the Chile Prunes Association, the Union of European Beverages Association and the California Dried Plum Board.
The study, which will last around 18 months, will be carried out by an independent UK-based laboratory. A final report will be issued to EFSA for evaluation.