In May and June 2015 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published opinions on the safety of the chlorophyll colours. Chlorophyll E 140(i) is a normal part of the diet so is considered safe.

However, because the critical toxicological studies date back to the 1950s, EFSA concluded that more current research or safety data is required before it could assess the safety of:

  • Chlorophyllins E 140(ii),
  • Copper complex of Chlorophylls E 141(i) or
  • Copper complexes of Chlorophyllins E 141(ii) (Copper Chlorophyllins).

For this reason the EFSA ANS Panel was unable to establish a firm opinion relating to these colours.

EFSA Scientific Opinion on re-evaluation of chlorophyllins (E 140(ii)) as food additives
EFSA Scientific Opinion on re-evaluation of copper complexes of chlorophylls (E 141(i)) and chlorophyllins (E 141(ii)) as food additives

NATCOL met with the European Commission at the end of September to express its commitment to collaborate with the authorities to address the data gaps and at the same time formally asked that these colours are retained on the market during that process.

NATCOL is developing a tiered testing strategy intended to close the data gaps through the formation of a consortium of interested stakeholders in order to fund and execute these studies.

The Industry is now awaiting the European authorities’ final decision on this matter, which we hope will be taken rapidly.

November 2015

NATCOL position on Chlorophyll Colour