The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a guidance document specifying the type of information that industry should provide to enable EFSA to carry out the safety assessments on food enzymes. The guidance takes into account the outcome of a public consultation which ended on 8 June.
An enzyme is a protein that promotes or accelerates a biochemical reaction. As an example, food enzymes can be used in certain cases as alternatives to food additives in order to improve the texture, appearance or nutritional value of food, as well as helping in certain food production processes.
The guidance specifies that industry should provide details of the physico-chemical characteristics of the food enzyme in question as well as the toxicological tests which have been carried out. On the basis of the information provided, EFSA will address the safety of the source materials from which the food enzyme is produced (including the presence of possible impurities), the manufacturing process and dietary exposure.
With regard to the safety evaluation of food enzymes, EFSA will first evaluate those which are currently on the market in the EU. After these evaluations are complete, an EU list of authorised substances will be established by the European Commission.
Source: EFSA – European Food Safety Authority