EFSA gives polyol bulk sweetener a positive opinion

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food additive, European food safety authority

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has delivered a positive scientific opinion on polyglycitol syrup, a common bulk sweetener used in bakery products.

Polyglycitol syrup falls into the category of hydrogenated starch hydrolysates and is composed of maltitol, sorbitol and higher molecular weight polyols.

Food formulators use polyglycitol syrup in breakfast cereals, biscuits, cakes and pastries to modulate sweetness and act as a bulking agent. It is a particularly common food additive in “free from” products.

To investigate its safety, the EFSA conducted a 13-week study on rats exposed to the sweetener in their diets.

Although a number of effects were observed, including a decrease in the average testis to body weight ratio of male rats, the EFSA considered these consequences to be “non-adverse”.

The main reported adverse effect specifically associated with polyglycitol syrup exposure is gastric disturbance.

In its assessment, the EFSA said exposure to polyglycitol syrup in the average diet is high enough to be close to dosage levels associated with gastric disturbances. The EFSA said laxative effects should therefore be taken into account as with other polyols authorised as food additives.

In its conclusions, the EFSA said the toxicological data available on polyglycitol syrup is insufficient to establish an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI), but that there is no indication of a safety concern for the proposed uses of polyglycitol syrup.

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