• Open Access

Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of vitamin C (ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate, sodium calcium ascorbyl phosphate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate) as a feed additive for all animal species based on a dossier submitted by DSM Nutritional Products Ltd

Authors

  • EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP)


  • Panel members: Gabriele Aquilina, Alex Bach, Vasileios Bampidis, Maria De Lourdes Bastos, Gerhard Flachowsky, Josep Gasa-Gasó, Mikolaj Antoni Gralak, Christer Hogstrand, Lubomir Leng, Secundino López-Puente, Giovanna Martelli, Baltasar Mayo, Derek Renshaw, Guido Rychen, Maria Saarela, Kristen Sejrsen, Patrick Van Beelen, Robert John Wallace and Johannes Westendorf.
  • Correspondence: feedap@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Vitamins, including Georges Bories, Jürgen Gropp, Alberto Mantovani and the late Reinhard Kroker, for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion.
  • Adoption date: 30 January 2013
  • Published date: 20 February 2013
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2011-00249
  • On request from: European Commission

Abstract

Vitamin C is essential for primates, guinea pigs and fish. Vitamin C, in the form of ascorbic acid and its calcium and sodium salts, ascorbyl palmitate, sodium calcium ascorbyl phosphate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate, is safe for all animal species. Setting a maximum content in feed and water for drinking is not considered necessary. Data on the vitamin C consumption of consumers are based on the levels of vitamin C in foodstuffs, including food of animal origin, produced in accordance with current EU legislation on the supplementation of feed with vitamin C. The exposure is far below the guidance level. Any potential contribution of the use of vitamin C in feed is therefore already considered in the above data. Consequently, the use of vitamin C in animal nutrition is not of concern for consumer safety. In the absence of inhalation toxicity studies it would be prudent to assume that inhalation of dust from the additives presents a health hazard to workers. Sodium calcium ascorbyl phosphate is not an irritant to skin and eyes and is unlikely to be a skin sensitiser. This conclusion is extrapolated to sodium ascorbyl phosphate. In the absence of data, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate and ascorbyl palmitate should be considered as irritant to skin and eyes and as dermal sensitisers. The supplementation of feed with vitamin C does not pose a risk to the environment. Ascorbic acid, sodium calcium ascorbyl phosphate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate are regarded as effective sources of vitamin C when added to feed or water for drinking. Since ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate and ascorbyl palmitate are authorised for use as antioxidants in food and their function in feed is essentially the same as that in food, no further demonstration of efficacy is considered necessary.

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