No health risk from candelilla wax, says EFSA

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Candelilla wax is used as a glazing agent in confectionery including chocolate
Candelilla wax is used as a glazing agent in confectionery including chocolate

Related tags European union Food additive

Confectionery glazing agent candelilla wax (E 902) has been deemed safe to use in Europe after a reevaluation from the European Food Safety Authority.

The food additive was already authorized in the EU as a glazing agent for confectionery and chocolate, but a reassessment was sought by the European Commission, which is seeking new risk assessments on all food additives permitted before 20 January 2009.

EFSA issued its scientific opinion​ following an evaluation from the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).

Panel: ‘Not Genotoxic’

“The Panel considered that absorption of candelilla wax is expected to be low, and that upon absorption the components would be incorporated into normal metabolic pathways,”​ said the opinion.

“Overall, the Panel considered that the available data suggest that candelilla wax is not genotoxic,” ​it said.

The Panel did not establish an acceptable daily intake (ADI) as it said long-term toxicity data on candelilla wax were lacking.


Candelilla wax is derived from the leaves of candelilla plants, which are found in semi-desert regions. It is a mix of wax, lactones, wax hydrocarbons, resin ester, free wax resin alcohols and free wax resin acids.

It is also used as a surface treatment for certain fruits, and can be found in food supplements, fragrances and hair care products and pharmaceuticals.

Carnauba wax (E903), another confectionery glazing, was recently reaffirmed as safe by EFSA after its revaluation in October. See HERE​.

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