Home Medizin Erythritol abführende Wirkung, Bleigehalte betreffend

Erythritol abführende Wirkung, Bleigehalte betreffend

von NFI Redaktion

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has re-evaluated the safety profile of Erythritol (E 968) and identified concerns regarding its laxative effect. As a result, new guidelines for acceptable daily intake have been established and precautions for individuals with high consumption have been recommended.

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol commonly used as a sweetener in foods. It is produced by fermentation of carbohydrate sources with safe and suitable food-grade osmophilic yeasts, followed by purification and drying.

The EFSA’s analysis was part of an ongoing safety review of all food additives approved in Europe before January 20, 2009. It utilized data from previous scientific opinions and studies, aiming to re-evaluate the safety of Erythritol for consumers and its possible exemption from the currently required laxative warning label.

The evaluation examined the manufacturing process of Erythritol and potential contaminants, seeking to address uncertainties regarding human exposure to the compound.

Results of the EFSA revealed that the manufacturing process was safe when specific yeast strains, namely Moniliella pollinis strain BC or M megachiliensis strain KW3-6, were used. Erythritol was found to be stable under various food conditions, and concerns regarding microbiological contamination were dismissed in the EFSA report.

It is important to note that the EFSA has established an acceptable daily intake of 0.5 g/kg body weight of Erythritol to prevent its laxative effect and long-term effects.

„The individual tolerance to sugar alcohols, including Erythritol, varies. Some individuals may be more sensitive to the laxative effect than others,“ said Bettina Wölnerhanssen, Co-Director of Metabolic Research at St. Claraspital Hospital in Basel, Switzerland. „The proposed limit is particularly sensible for preventing diarrhea, especially in individuals sensitive to higher doses,“ she added. Wölnerhanssen was not involved in the EFSA assessment.

Among the contaminants examined, lead was the only one found in Erythritol produced using the evaluated manufacturing process. The report recommended lowering the current limit for maximum lead content in Erythritol to 0.5 mg/kg to reduce consumer lead intake.

The evaluation also revealed that while current evidence does not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship between Erythritol and increased cardiovascular risk, further research is required to better understand a potential connection.

Wölnerhanssen highlighted gaps in the current safety assessment of Erythritol and emphasized the need for long-term data from various population groups that could benefit from the use of this sweetener, such as patients with diabetes.

The EFSA urged the European Commission to request more detailed data on the Erythritol content in foods from food manufacturers to improve exposure assessments. They also proposed changes to EU specifications, emphasized the need to list permissible microorganisms in Erythritol manufacturing processes, and advocated for a reduction in the maximum allowable lead content.

The EFSA also reported that the available data does not support an exemption for Erythritol from the current requirement of warning labels stating, „Excessive consumption may have a laxative effect“ on products containing more than 10% Erythritol.

The results of the report emphasize the need for increased caution among consumers and regulatory authorities regarding the consumption and permissible limits of Erythritol in foods.

„Individuals who are very sensitive to sugar alcohols should avoid consuming large amounts of Erythritol at once,“ said Wölnerhanssen.

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