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2-methyloxolane: a new extraction solvent recognized as safe by EFSA

It is not common that EFSA assess the safety of new food extraction solvent. The EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP) assessed the safety of 2-methyloxolane as an extraction solvent. This new solvent is proposed to be used in processes currently applying hexane for oil and protein extraction from plant sources or for extraction of food additives. The proposed maximum residue limits are between 1 and 10 mg/kg depending on the food categories.

Based on the available toxicological data, EFSA concluded that 2-methyloxolane is rapidly metabolised with a low bioaccumulation potential and does not raise a concern for genotoxicity. The toxicity assessment includes a sub-chronic oral toxicity study in rats, an oral developmental toxicity study and an extended one-generation reproductive toxicity study. Since the results of safety studies did not raise any safety concern compared to the proposed conditions of use, EFSA concluded that 2-methyloxolane is safe under the proposed conditions of use.

EFSA CEP Panel (EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids), Lambre C, Barat Baviera JM, Bolognesi C, Chesson A, Cocconcelli PS, Crebelli R, Gott DM, Grob K, Lampi E, Mengelers M, Mortensen A, Steffensen I-L, Tlustos C, Van Loveren H, Vernis L,Zorn H, Bignami M, Furst P, Tard A and Van Haver E, 2022. Scientific Opinion on the safety assessment of 2-methyloxolane as a food extraction solvent. EFSA Journal 2022;20(3):7138.