Acetaldehyde as a Food Flavoring Substance: Aspects of Risk Assessment – Dr. Alexander Cartus is author of a scientific article published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research

As a member of the working group on Food Constituents within SKLM (Senate Commission on Food Safety) of the DFG (German Research Foundation), Dr. Alexander Cartus (Chemservice Luxembourg) together with professors and representatives of authorities and industry has recently published a review paper assessing the safety of acetaldehyde used as intentionally added food flavoring substance.

The review article is a detailed presentation of the previously published Opinion in the “Journal of Consumer Protection and Food Safety” published by the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety.

Acetaldehyde is genotoxic in vitro and carcinogenic in locally exposed tissues at least after exposure via inhalation. Following oral intake of ethanol (which is metabolized to acetaldehyde) or inhalation of acetaldehyde, systemic genotoxic effects of acetaldehyde in vivo cannot be ruled out. At present, the key question of whether acetaldehyde is genotoxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic in vivo after oral exposure cannot be answered conclusively.

However, considering the genotoxic potential of acetaldehyde as well as numerous data gaps that need to be filled to allow a comprehensive risk assessment, SKLM considers that the use of acetaldehyde as a flavoring may pose a safety concern.

For reasons of precautionary consumer protection, SKLM recommends that the scientific base for approval of the intentional addition of acetaldehyde to foods as a flavoring substance should be reassessed.

The open access article is available via the following link:

Wiley Online Library

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