New Opinion from BfR - Infant nutrition: Health risks due to erucic acid are not to be expected

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has published the statement No 017/2021. Erucic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid and occurs, among other things, in oleaginous seeds of cruciferous vegetables (rape) and their processed products such as rape oil.

Using different models, it was investigated for erucic acid under which factors the exposure for infants could exceed the tolerable daily intake (TDI) value derived by the EFSA (European Food and Safety Agency). On the one hand, the maximum level for erucic acid in infant formula and follow-on formula set by the EU legal framework and, on the other hand, data from food monitoring programmes of the German federal states were included.

The risk assessment showed that the erucic acid content in infant formula and follow-on formula in Germany is far below the legally defined maximum content of maximum 0.4 % in the fat content according to Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/828. According to the BfR, with an average consumption of complementary foods and a content of 0.2 % or less erucic acid in the oils, the addition of one teaspoon of rapeseed oil to complementary foods does not pose as an increased risk to infants aged between 6 and 12 months.


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