EFSA reviews safety of glutamates added to food

EFSA has established a safe intake level for glutamic acid and glutamates used as food additives after re-evaluating their safety. The Authority also concluded that estimated dietary exposure to glutamic acid and glutamates may exceed not only the safe level but also doses associated with adverse effects in humans for some population groups. On this basis, EFSA’s experts recommend reviewing the maximum permitted levels for these food additives. EFSA re-assessed the safety of glutamates used as food additives and derived a group acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 30 mg/kg body weight per day for all six of these additives. This safe level of intake is based on the highest dose at which scientists observed no adverse effects on test animals in toxicity studies. Currently, there is no numerical safe intake level (ADI) specified for glutamic acid and glutamates used as food additives in the EU. In the EU the addition of glutamates is generally permitted up to a maximum level of 10 g/kg of food. In salt substitutes, seasonings and condiments, there is no numerical maximum permitted level for glutamates and they must be used in line with good manufacturing practices.