• Open Access

Refined exposure assessment for caramel colours (E 150a, c, d)


  • European Food Safety Authority

  • Correspondence: ans@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: EFSA wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Exposure Assessment: Martine Bakker, Jürgen Koënig, Jean-Charles Leblanc, Oliver Lindtner, Christina Tlustos for the preparatory work on this scientific output and EFSA staff: Davide Arcella and Alexandra Tard for the support provided to this scientific output.
  • Adoption date: 3 December 2012
  • Published date: 19 December 2012
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2012-00742
  • On request from: EFSA


This EFSA statement is a refined exposure assessment of caramel colours (E 150a, E 150c and E 150d) taking into account additional information on its use in foods as consumed. The EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) adopted a scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of caramel colours (E 150a, E 150b, E 150c, E 150d) used as food additives in 2011. In that opinion, the Panel concluded that the anticipated dietary exposure of child and adult populations may exceed the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for caramel colours E 150a, E 150c and E 150d, but exposure estimates to E 150b were below the ADI. Following this conclusion, new data from industry were submitted to EFSA providing updated use levels of caramel colours in foods ready to be consumed. A refined exposure assessment was performed for caramel colours that were exceeding the ADI in ANS Panel opinion (EFSA, 2011a) i.e. E 150a, E 150c and E 150d and concluded that the anticipated dietary exposure are considerably lower than in the previous exposure assessment. However, toddlers and adults have a higher exposure to caramel colour E 150c and could still exceed the ADI of 100 mg/kg bw/day for this caramel colour. The estimated combined exposure to the four caramel colours (E 150a, E 150b, E 150c, E 150d) are considerably lower and the group ADI of 300 mg/kg bw/day is not exceeded for any population group in the current review.