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Exposure assessment of epoxidised soybean oil in baby foods for infants: review of data assessment

Funded under: FP6-FOOD


Epoxidised soybean oil (ESBO) is used as a plasticizer in polyvinyl chloride (PVC)- lined metallic closure gaskets used to seal jars forming an airtight seal needed to prevent microbiological contaminations. One common application is in the PVC lining of baby food glass jars. Exposure evaluation by infants was investigated in the frame of the request for the European Food Safety Authority.
The evaluation was conducted in the context of the current uses in foods, with an emphasis on foods for particular nutritional uses such as baby foods that might result in intake of ESBO close or beyond the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) currently imposed of 1 mg/kg body weight. In addition, the evaluation considered the formation of derivatives of ESBO such as chlorohydrins, which may occur as the In addition, the main pathway of PVC degradation involves the elimination of HCI which can react with ESBO, leading to the formation of chlorohydrins. Thus such compounds may be present in quantifiable amounts in baby foods as well and may be of greater toxicological concern. Finally, it has been noticed, that confirming previous work, there is also a presence of cyclic compounds formed, and also noted that mass balance of peak disappearance to peak appearance is not preserved, suggesting that some reactions products are not eluted or not currently accounted for. The conclusions were that the main exposure was likely to be for infants between 6 and 12 months of age. The exposure to ESBO itself in this case exceeds often the TDI for the different intake scenarios found in the literature. For ESBO derivatives, a reliable exposure assessment depends on having more information on 1) the full nature of all derivatives of ESBO, 2) their typical concentration levels in baby food and 3) their toxicity.

Additional information

Authors: SIMONEAU C, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 21372 EN (2004), 41pp. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9893 Fax: +39 033278 5409 E-mail: or Bruxelles (BE) Tel: +32 2 295 76 24 Fax: +32 2 299 63 22
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