Physico-chemical characterization of the fraction of engineered nanomaterials in silver (E174) food additives in the context of risk assessment [NanoAg@]

Last updated on 7-11-2018 by Jill Alexandre
December 1, 2016
December 31, 2017

Service(s) working on this project

Sciensano's project investigator(s):

In short

E174 is a food additive approved by the European Commission which can be used for the external coating of confectionery items, for decoration of chocolates and in liqueurs. Commercial suppliers distribute the E174 food additive in the form of powders and sheets. This project aims to develop a validated methodology for the screening, detection and physico-chemical characterisation of (nano)particles in food additive E174.

Project summary

This work aims at a systematic and larger scale examination of silver (E174) food additives and food items containing silver, available on the market. Overall, the project will support the control (regulators), application (consumers) and implementation (producers) of EU Regulation 1169/2011 for nanomaterials in the approved silver food additive E174
Specific goals are:

  • to prepare a representative test material for the food additive E174,
  • to provide science-based data, filling identified knowledge gaps for the (re-) evaluation of E174 food additive in line with Regulation (EU) No 257/2010, to re-evaluate the approved food additives under the responsibility of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), based on analyses of pristine food additives E174 on the market and on food products containing the food additive E174,
  • to improve the guidelines for characterization of silver engineered nanomaterial ENM in food in a regulatory context based on this specific example.

Number-based size and shape distributions and particle concentrations will be provided together with measurement uncertainties assuring a quality of data in line with the requirements of the EC definition of NM and with international guidelines.
The detailed physico-chemical characterisation and the estimation of the concentration of specific nano-sized silver particles in the pristine E174 and in the food matrix are of such quality that they can serve to estimate the exposure to silver food additive taken up as food. Based on the results for E174, a generic approach can be formulated.

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