EU food safety body: adopt safe glutamate intake levels

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Monosodium glutamate is the most widely recognised of the six glutamate additives
Monosodium glutamate is the most widely recognised of the six glutamate additives

Related tags: European union, European commission

Europe’s scientific food safety body is urging the EU to adopt its newly established safe intake levels for glutamate food additives after raising fears about consumption rates.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has asked the European Commission (EC) to consider ratifying an acceptable daily intake of 30mg/kg body weight per day for all six glutamate additives.

It found that estimated dietary exposure to glutamic acid and glutamates had not only exceeded safe levels, but were linked to adverse effects in some population groups.

There is no acceptable daily intake (ADI) level specified for glutamates in food additives in the EU. However, the addition of glutamates is generally permitted up to a maximum level of 10g/kg of food.

Good manufacturing practices

In salt substitutes, seasonings and condiments, there is no maximum permitted level, but they must be used in line with good manufacturing practices.

EFSA’s proposed safe level of intake is based on the highest dose at which scientists observed no adverse effects on test animals in toxicity studies.

In a refined exposure assessment, scientists combined realistic food consumption data, use levels of glutamates reported by industry and analytical results from Member States.

They estimated that exposure to glutamates added to food may exceed the proposed ADI for individuals of all population groups whose diet is high in foods containing these additives.

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