Fabian Demicoli

Information: Extraction solvents used in the production of food

Directive 2009/32/EC applies to extraction solvents used or intended for use in the production of foodstuffs or food ingredients. That Directive does not apply to extraction solvents used in the production of food additives, vitamins and other nutritional additives, unless such food additives, vitamins or nutritional additives are listed in its Annex I. The European Food Safety Authority (the Authority) evaluated the safety of dimethyl ether as an extraction solvent to remove fat from animal protein raw materials and expressed its opinion of 29 January 2009. The Authority concluded that there is no safety concern provided that the maximum residual limit of dimethyl ether is 9 μg/kg of extracted animal proteins.

 

Therefore the use of dimethyl ether as an extraction solvent to remove fat from animal protein raw materials should be authorised under the condition of a maximum residual limit of dimethyl ether of 9 μg/kg in the defatted protein product.

 

Part III of Annex I to Directive 2009/32/EC does not establish specific residue limits in foodstuffs for methanol and propan-2-ol resulting from the preparation of flavourings. Member States and the Commission pointed out that the general residue limit of 10 mg/kg for methanol and propane-2-ol, as set out in Part II of Annex I to Directive 2009/32/EC, is too strict if applied directly to flavourings.

 

Therefore specific limits should be set in foodstuffs for methanol and propan-2-ol resulting from their use for the preparation of flavourings from natural flavouring materials. Those limits should be lower than the limit of 10 mg/kg assessed as safe by the Scientific Committee for Food, in order to be considered as safe.

 

Comments are to reach the Technical Regulations Division within the Regulatory Affairs Directorate, in writing or via email by Thursday 25th August 2011.Tel: 2395 2000 Email:

 

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