• Open Access

Scientific Opinion on the capacity of oleochemical processes to minimise possible risks linked to TSE in Category 1 animal by-products


  • EFSA Scientific Panel on Biological hazards (BIOHAZ)

  • Panel members: Olivier Andreoletti, Herbert Budka, Sava Buncic, John D. Collins, John Griffin, Arie Havelaar, James Hope, Günter Klein, Tine Hald, James McLauchlin, Christine Mueller-Graf, Christophe Nguyen-Thé, Birgit Noerrung, Miguel Prieto Maradona, Luisa Peixe, Antonia Ricci, John Sofos, John Threlfall, Ivar Vågsholm and Emmanuel Vanopdenbosch.
  • Correspondence: biohaz@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on the capacity of oleochemical processes to minimise possible risks linked to TSE in Category 1 animal by-products: Emmanuel Vanopdenbosch, Christophe Nguyen-The, John Griffin, James Hope and Reinhard Boehm for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion and EFSA staff: Alessandro Broglia for the support provided to this scientific opinion.
  • Adoption date: 20 January 2011
  • Published date: 7 February 2011
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2010-00969
  • On request from: European Commission


The capacity of specific oleochemical processes including several steps (i.e. bleaching, fat splitting, hydrogenation, concentration, distillation and refinement) in order to minimise possible risks linked to TSE infectivity in tallow including Category 1 animal by-products (ABP) was assessed. Under the new ABP Regulation (Reg. EC No 1069/2009), the use of Category 1 tallow for oleochemical products may be also authorised, if the processes are proved to be capable of sufficiently inactivating any potential risks linked to TSEs. The processes considered in this opinion are based on different treatment steps in different combination, but with respect to infectivity reduction the major contribution derives from hydrolytic fat splitting and hydrogenation, so to obtain fatty acids and glycerol. It is concluded that if the parameters are fully met as declared by the applicant, certain processes can be considered effective in significantly reducing the TSE infectivity in the end products using Category 1 tallow. However, considering the uncertainties on the TSE infectivity reduction in oleochemical products derived from Cat. 1 material, these products cannot be reliably regarded to be free of infectivity and therefore could pose a risk if they entered the food and feed chain.