EU Amends Maximum Levels for Tropane Alkaloids in Certain Cereal-Based Foods

Rutherford, NJ, April 01, 2016 --( SGS expands on the publication of Regulation (EU) 2016/239 to amend maximum levels for tropane alkaloids (TA) in certain cereal-based foods for infants and young children.

Foodstuffs and product combinations containing cereals imported into EU Member States for distribution or sale must comply European Regulation (EU) 2016/239, published on February 19, 2016, by the European Commission. It amends maximum levels (MLs) for tropane alkaloids (TA) in certain cereal-based foods for infants and young children.

Regulatory Landscape
Regulation (EU) No 881/2006, is amended by Regulation (EU) 2016/239, and the European Union has announced four Commission Regulations amending Annexes II, III and V to Directive 2005/396/EC of the European Parliament, and of the Council, with regard to maximum residue levels for pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin.

These changes relate specifically to MLs for tropane alkaloids in certain cereal-based foods for infants and young children that are imported into the EU. The new MLs for processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children, containing millet, sorghum, buckwheat or their derived products are 1.0 µg/kg for Atropine and 1.0 µg/kg for Scopolamine.

Tropane alkaloids are plant derived organic compounds and are among the oldest medicines known to man. Tropane alkaloids are found in all parts of the plants, with the highest concentrations found in their roots and seeds. Scopolamine is thought to be the primary compound responsible for the toxic effects of these plants, and atropine is an artifact of purification. As little as half a teaspoon of Datura seed, equivalent to 0.1 mg of atropine per seed, has caused death from cardiopulmonary arrest.

Consignments in transit
Consignments of food and feed that left their country of origin prior to these Regulations coming into force may still be imported without being accompanied by either a health certificate, or the results of sampling and analysis.

What do the changes mean?
To ensure compliance with the new MLs, Member States shall take and analyze samples for these contaminants in foodstuffs and product combinations, including foods for infants and small children and products originating from organic farming. For more information, or to discuss your testing, analysis and certification requirements contact a food safety expert, such as SGS.

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For further information, please contact:

Jennifer Buckley
Global Food Marketing Manager
t: +1 973 461 1498
Jennifer Buckley
+1 973 461 1498