Soy Lecithin in animal feed additives, Safety and efficacy for animal species

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Additives and Products or Substances Used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) was asked to issue a scientific opinion on the safety and effectiveness of lecithin for all animal species.The conclusion is Lecithins are normal constituents of feed materials commonly used in feed formulation. A number of studies in several target species showed that no adverse effects at normal inclusion level are to be expected. The FEEDAP Panel considers that lecithins are safe for all target species, and that setting a maximum content for lecithins is not considered necessary. It is noteworthy that fish and crustaceans may have a nutrient requirement for phospholipids.

Soy Lecithin used in Feed Additives (as Natural Emulsifiers) mainly are: Standard Soy Lecithin, Hydrolyzed Liquid Soy Lecithin and Deoiled Soy Lecithin Powder. Standard soy lecithin oil is direct from crude soy lecithin oil, actone insouble about 60%. Hydrolyzed soy lecithin oil is chemically modified soya lecithin (GM) liquid with enhanced water dispersibility. It has excellent dispersibility in water due to chemical hydrolysis treatment.Standard soy lecithin liquid can be further processed with an additional solvent extraction step to remove neutral lipids to produce deoiled lecithin powder.

Soy Lecithin is produced according to the Food Safety regulation,so it should be safe for animal feed additives.The main specification of different soy lecithins are: acetone insoluble 60% (standard soy lecithin oil), 95% (deoiled soy lecithin powder), 55% (Hydrolyzed Liquid Soy Lecithin). The moisture 1% max, < 0.3% toluene insoluble matter, < 35 mg potassium hydroxide (KOH)/g as acid value (< 45 mg KOH/g for hydrolyzed lecithin) and ≤ 10 mmol O 2 /kg as peroxide value.

o determine the shelf life of lecithin under ambient conditions, four batches of conventional liquid lecithin 19 and three batches of deoiled lecithin 20 were stored for 36 months, and one batch of hydrolyzed liquid lecithin 21 was stored for 24 months. All samples were analyzed for moisture, acetone insolubles, acid value and peroxide value; regular and hydrolyzed liquid lecithin, additionally, for toluene insolubles and aerobic bacteria and Salmonella. Count; the hydrolyzed ones are also phospholipid components. No difference from the initial value was observed after storage.

In the case of technical additives, stability in the feed can be demonstrated by the persistence of effect, if the efficacy of the additive as an emulsifier is demonstrated, uniform distribution need not be demonstrated. Lecithin is approved as a food additive for emulsification in food and can reasonably be expected to be used in feed. Therefore, it is assumed that the additives being evaluated are sufficiently stable for the purpose of use.
Lecithin is authorized as a food additive with no maximum content and no ADI regulated. Lecithin is a natural component of plant and animal products, a building block of biological components and a nutritional store of phospholipids (eggs, milk). Lecithin in animal products comes from dietary sources and de novo synthesis. The metabolic fate of lecithin is common to all animal species, including humans, with lysolecithin being the intermediate metabolite. Not expected to accumulate in animal tissues and products.

Therefore, the FEEDAP panel concluded that the use of lecithin in animal nutrition does not pose any risk to consumers.


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