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Polyglycitol syrup ok as food additive: EFSA

17 December 2009 2,555 views No Comment

Following a request from the European Commission for a scientific opinion on the use of polyglycitol syrup as a food additive, the European Food Safety Authority Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food says there are no safety concerns when using appropriate levels of the syrup.

Polyglycitol syrup belongs to the hydrogenated starch hydrolysate syrups composed of maltitol, sorbitol and higher molecular weight polyols.

In contrast to maltitol syrup EU specifications, the polyglycitol syrup has a defined concentration of sorbitol, a lower concentration of maltitol and a defined concentration of higher molecular weight polyols. Consequently, it is not covered by specifications for maltitol syrup which is an EU authorised food additive.

In humans, the main reported adverse effect specifically associated with polyglycitol syrup exposure was gastric disturbance. The Panel considered that conservative estimates of the exposure to polyglycitol syrup, for consumer-only and the general population, arising from the proposed uses and use-levels, are close to, and for children even higher than, doses associated with gastric disturbances when administered as bolus doses in human trials and as reported in recent case reports.

However, the Panel noted that these estimates were based on the assumption that polyglycitol syrup will be present in all food for which its use is proposed. When potential exposures from all foods are combined, this scenario becomes less likely and exposure from all sources at maximum usage levels becomes less probable.

However, for individual food categories this might be a realistic scenario since consumer loyalty and individual preferences might cause consumers to always choose particular brands, which may contain this particular food additive.

The Panel considered that the chemical and toxicological data available on polyglycitol syrup were insufficient to establish an acceptable daily intake (ADI), but based on the available data concludes that there are no indications of a safety concern for the proposed uses and use levels.

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