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Maximum Residue Limits for Anthraquinone in Food
20.11.2014 | The application to include anthraquinone as bird repellent into annexe I of guideline 91/414/EEC concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market was already rejected in 2008 due to evidence of a hazardous effect on human health and lacking data for effects on environment and non-target organisms. In their reasoned opinion on anthraquinone as plant protection agent, EFSA proved a carcinogenic effect in animal studies in 2012 and could not rule out a hazard for human health.

Until now, a European maximum residue limit of 0.01 mg/kg was applicable for the pre­sence of anthraquinone in food, irrespective of the origin of the foodstuff. Specific maxi­mum residue limits for food were defined with a new regulation (EC) No. 1146/2014, effective from May 18th 2015. Taking into account state-of-the-art research, the specific standard values were adapted to the limit of quantification. According to matrix, these maximum residue limits may deviate from the common 0.01 mg/kg and are listed for anthraquinone in annexe V of regulation (EC) 396/2005.

In June 2013, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has deleted anthra­quinone from its recommendation XXXVI as raw material for paper production with food contact. Until then, anthraquinone was used as raw material additive and catalyst for the separation of lignin and cellulose fibres in the production of paper and cardboard. Based on EFSA's reasoned opinion, it is prohibited to use anthraquinone for food contact materials of paper or cardboard. An adequate assessment of anthraquinone in packaging materials is still pending.

As a competent analytical partner, we offer analysis of anthraquinone in food, paper and cardboard or as specific migration testing. With our highly sensitive GC-MS-MS methodo­logy, we are able to reach a limit of quantification of 0.01 mg/kg in food, also for difficult matrices like tea or spices.

Commission decision 2008/986/EC
EFSA reasoned opinion
BfR opinion

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