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EU committee suggest alterations to carrageenan specification

The EU Scientific Committee on Food has published an opinion document on carrageenan stating that it believes a new weight limit should be imposed on carrageenan and that carrageenan should not be use in some infant formula's

The committee conclusions are:

  • The Committee concluded that the information available since its last review of carrageenan as an additive for general food use did not provide any reason to alter the ADI of 0 - 75 mg/kg bw established previously.
  • The Committee notes that intakes are considerably below the ADI.
  • The Committee does however consider that, if feasible, a molecular weight limit of not >5% below 50 kDa should be introduced into the specification, in order to ensure that the presence of any degraded carrageenan is kept to a minimum.
  • In the absence of any further information on possible absorption of carrageenan by the immature gut in the very young infant, the Committee reaffirms its earlier view (SCF, 1998) that it remains inadvisable to use carrageenan in infant formulae that are fed from birth, including those in the category of foods for special medical purposes.
  • The Committee has no objection to the use of carrageenan in foods for older infants, such as follow-on milks (SCF, 1983) and weaning foods.

EU opinion document - carrageenan