EUROPE – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has taken a proactive step to safeguard the quality and safety of food and feed by updating its qualified presumption of safety (QPS) list of approved microbiological agents.
The QPS list serves as a vital resource, offering generic pre-valuation of the safety of microorganisms intentionally added to food and feed products.
The recent update, encompassing the period between October 2022 and March 2023, meticulously evaluated 38 notifications, recommending the approval of certain microorganisms while rejecting others due to safety concerns and insufficient scientific information.
The QPS list undergoes regular assessments, approximately every 6 months, ensuring that it remains up-to-date with the latest scientific data and safety considerations.
The recent evaluation period saw 28 microorganisms proposed for feed evaluation, five for use as food enzymes, food additives, and flavorings, and five as novel foods.
Out of these, only four microorganisms underwent evaluation in the current statement, as some were already deemed QPS, while others were excluded due to their specific nature.
Despite rigorous evaluation, the EFSA decided not to recommend four microorganisms for inclusion in the QPS list including Anaerobutyricum soehngenii, Stutzerimonas stutzeri, Nannochloropsis oculate, and DSM 11798.
Anaerobutyricum soehngenii and Stutzerimonas stutzeri lacked sufficient scientific data to support their safe use in food and feed applications.
On the other hand, Nannochloropsis oculate was excluded due to safety concerns and insufficient scientific data regarding its potential impact on human and animal exposure through food and feed.
Meanwhile, DSM 11798, isolated from the bovine rumen and intended to degrade trichothecene mycotoxins in feed, was deemed unsuitable for QPS classification due to its status as a strain rather than a species.
The QPS list update also involved a thorough reassessment of previously approved microorganisms, with the EFSA diligently scouring articles published between July and December 2022.
This comprehensive review did not reveal any new information that would alter the QPS status or qualifications of microorganisms currently on the list, reaffirming their safety for use in food and feed applications.
By maintaining stringent evaluation standards, the EFSA upholds its commitment to ensuring food and feed safety in Europe.
The QPS list’s regular updates and reevaluations play a pivotal role in enhancing the industry’s ability to provide safe and nutritious products to consumers.