EU Approves Carbomer (E 1210) as Food Additive in Food Supplements

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March 17, 20233E Global Research TeamBlog

On 1 March 2023 the European Official Journal published an amendment that adds carbomer (E 1210) to the EU List of Authorized Food Additives and approves it for use in food supplements. The amendment will enter into force on 21 March 2023. 

3E Review 

Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/440 amends Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008 by adding a new entry, carbomer (E 1210), to the Union List of Authorized Food Additives. In particular, E 1210 is now approved as a food additive and added to Annex II, Part B, point 3 (Additives Other than Colors and Sweeteners).

The following maximum levels of use are set up in Annex II, Part E to Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008:

  • Food supplements supplied in a solid form: 200,000 mg/kg
  • Food supplements supplied in a liquid form: 30,000 mg/kg

Note that carbomer is excluded from food supplements for infants and young children.

The authorization of E 1210 is based on the Scientific opinion on 11 August 2021 of the European Food Safety Authority, in which it concluded that carbomer used as a food additive in solid and liquid food supplements does not give rise to a safety concern when used within the specified limits.

According to the text, carbomer used as a stabilizer in solid (also bulking agent) and liquid (also thickener) food supplements for various foods helps to achieve a longer shelf life. Namely “carbomer is intended for use in solid food supplements for the controlled extended release of nutrients, allowing smaller size of tablets that are easier for consumers to swallow. In liquid food supplements, carbomer is intended for use in formulations with a wide range of flow and rheological properties that are stable with a lower level of polymer.”

Detailed specifications for the newly approved carbomer (E 1210) are provided in Commission Regulation (EU) No. 231/2012.

3E Analysis 

In the absence of any transition periods, the new requirements will become effective on 21 March 2023. Starting this date, economic and food business operators may use carbomer in accordance with the new requirements and sell their products to final consumers.

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