Annatto Task Force, was originally set up in 1998 to generate the dossier for the JECFA evaluation of Annatto Extracts (2003 & 2006). The Task Force also prepared and submitted data to EFSA, including specific additional genotoxicity testing, in the framework of its re-evaluation of annatto extracts. The final submission of data to address the outstanding EFSA questions was made end October 2015. The EFSA scientific opinion on the safety of annatto extracts E 160b as food additive issued on 24 August 2016, evaluated positively and accepted as safe four out of five of the annatto extracts. The exposure assessment of annatto colouring principles bixin and norbixin (E 160b) when used as food additives was then issued on 13 July 2017.
In the meantime, NATCOL completed the necessary (mutagenicity) tests regarding the safety of the fifth annatto extract (Annatto E) and reviewed the bixin/norbixin levels for specific Food Categories by strengthening technical justifications. The EFSA scientific opinion published on 13 March 2019 on the safety of annatto E and the exposure to the annatto colouring principles bixin and norbixin (E 160b) when used as a food additive concluded that Annatto E does not raise genotoxicity concerns and that the level of exposure does not raise a health concern. Therefore, the 2016 ADIs for bixin and norbixin also apply to Annatto E and all five Annatto extracts have now been re-evaluated positively on the basis of data submitted by the industry.
Since, NATCOL works in order to answer any issue/question the EU Commission or Member States might raise in the framework of the setting of future annatto specifications.
Anthocyanin Task Force, following the publication of the EFSA scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of Anthocyanins (E 163) as food additive dated March 2013, NATCOL has collected data to commission a report on compositional data and Anthocyanins profiling in purple coloured vegetables to ﬁll in the existing data gaps on characterisation for a selection of source materials and extracts (i.e. Black carrot – Red radish – Red cabbage – Purple sweet potato). This report was finalised in January 2018. The Task Force has now to work on the characterisation and manufacturing data for the four (4) anthocyanin sources.
In the meantime, the Task Force participated in the JECFA call for data on Black Carrot by aligning with IACM on the monograph content and data submission. A joint NATCOL/IACM submission to JECFA made on 20 December 2018. Since, NATCOL is answering JECFA’s questions.
Carmine Task Force, was created for the development of outstanding genotoxicity studies on Carminic Acid containing products which were submitted to EFSA, as part of the re-evaluation of Cochineal, Carminic acid, Carmines (E 120). The EFSA scientific opinion was published in December 2015 and outlined the need for revision of the E 120 specification amongst other recommendations.
NATCOL collected additional scientific data and information in order to be able to answer all the EFSA recommendations and the EU Commission and Member States’ questions. In September 2018, the EU Commission finalised its re-evaluation process by issuing Regulation 2018/1472 which presents the new specifications for Cochineal, Carminic acid and Carmines (E 120). These specifications are in line with NATCOL’s supportive scientific evidence and its dedicated research.
Carotenes Task Force has been created mainly to up-date specifications for E 160 a (i, ii, iii, iv) on the basis of the 2012 EFSA scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of mixed carotenes (E 160a (i)) and beta-carotene (E 160a (ii)) as a food additive. NATCOL is still collecting information and data on the basis of the EFSA recommendations and is considering a data gap analysis to make sure it will be able to cover all potentially pending issues.
At the same time, NATCOL decided to answer JECFA’s call for data on β-carotene, β-carotene from Blakeslea Trispora, β-apo-8′-carotenal and β-apo-8′-carotenoic acid methyl and ethyl esters but to only focus on β-carotene, β-carotene from Blakeslea Trispora and β-apo-8′-carotenal. NATCOL worked on specifications, toxicology and intake on which it submitted data to JECFA in January 2019. Since, NATCOL answers JECFA’s questions.
Chlorophylls Task Force funded the characterisation/chemical analysis of Chlorophylls (E 140i & 140ii) in response to specific requests from EFSA. The publication of the EFSA scientific opinions on E 140i & E 140ii were made in May 2015 and on E 141i & E 141ii in June 2015. The opinions concluded that Chlorophyll itself was not of safety concern because it was a part of the normal diet but EFSA considered that there was limited data available and more research would be required to fully assess all these products. The Task Force decided to answer the 2017 call for data published by the EU Commission and submitting a project plan to provide the needed data only for E 140(i) chlorophylls. A complete data set was collected, compiled and submitted to EU Commission end 2018 and beginning 2019.
Lutein Task Force main aim is to follow and support lutein and lutein esters at Codex level.
Lycopene Task Force was formed to work on the potential extension of use for Lycopene (E 160d).
Paprika Task Force, prepared the submission for JECFA evaluation of Paprika Extracts (2008) with a successful outcome in June 2014. The Task Force also submitted data to EFSA in the framework of its re-evaluation of Paprika Extract (E 160c) in September 2014 that led to a successful EFSA scientific opinion in December 2015.
The Group prepared and presented for adoption provisions for the use and use levels of Paprika Extract INS 160c (ii) into the step process of the GSFA at the Codex Committee on Food Additives in 2017.
Safflower Task Force, was created in 2018 in order to start collecting and assess data currently available via literature review on the consumption of safflower.
Spirulina Task Force, was involved in the IACM draft monograph on spirulina end 2017. In order to complete this now joint submission, NATCOL is gathering data and information in order to better identify and characterise spirulina.
Vegetable Carbon Task Force was created to provide information to EU Commission on E 153 specifications. This involved contacting suppliers, collect and compile data through an external consultancy and prepare a report.