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Refined exposure assessment of extracts of rosemary (E 392) from its use as food additive


Panel members at the time of adoption

Peter Aggett, Fernando Aguilar, Riccardo Crebelli, Birgit Dusemund, Metka Filipič, Maria Jose Frutos, Pierre Galtier, David Gott, Ursula Gundert‐Remy, Gunter Georg Kuhnle, Claude Lambré, Jean‐Charles Leblanc, Inger Therese Lillegaard, Peter Moldeus, Alicja Mortensen, Agneta Oskarsson, Ivan Stankovic, Ine Waalkens‐Berendsen, Rudolf Antonius Woutersen, Matthew Wright and Maged Younes.


The EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) provides a scientific opinion on the refined exposure assessment of extracts of rosemary (E 392) when used as a food additive. Extracts of rosemary (E 392) was evaluated by the AFC Panel in 2008. Following this EFSA evaluation, extracts of rosemary (E 392) was authorised for use as a food additive in the EU in several food categories with maximum levels. In 2015, the ANS Panel provided a scientific opinion on the safety of the proposed extensions of use for extracts of rosemary (E 392) in fat‐based spreads. In 2016, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) has evaluated this food additive and established a temporary acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 0–0.3 mg/kg body weight (bw) for rosemary extract, expressed as carnosic acid plus carnosol. Based on the data provided by food industry, the Panel was able to refine the exposure estimates of extracts of rosemary (E 392). The highest mean refined exposure estimate (non‐brand loyal scenario) was 0.09 mg/kg bw per day in children (3–9 years) and the highest 95th percentile of exposure was 0.20 mg/kg bw per day in children. Taking uncertainties into account, the Panel concluded that these exposure estimates very likely overestimate the real exposure to extracts of rosemary (E 392) from its use as a food additive according to Annex II. Margins of safety were estimated for children and adults using the refined exposure estimate; these are higher than the ones calculated in 2015. Intake of carnosic acid and carnosol from natural diet (herbs) was estimated. It was maximally 1.66 mg/kg bw per day (p95).