Magnesium stearate stirs more conversation

CCFA put the ingredient on the priority list of food additives proposed for evaluation following a IADSA-supported request.

The Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) last month agreed with IADSA recommendations to evaluate Magnesium Stearate as a priority for inclusion in its General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA).

The CCFA, which met in Beijing March 18 to 22, decided to put the additive on the priority list of food additives proposed for evaluation by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), following a request supported by IADSA for its safety assessment and the establishment of specifications for GSFA inclusion.

Magnesium stearate has for over 80 years been used by tablet manufacturers world-wide and it is estimated that it is used in around 70 percent of all food supplement tablets produced.

“We are pleased that the CCFA had agreed to prioritize the evaluation of Magnesium stearate in 2013, as it is essential for the production of supplement tablets and there is no effective alternative that will achieve the same function,” said IADSA Chairman Peter Zambetti. “We will continue to provide scientific and technical support to help further the work of the CCFA, and we hope that Magnesium stearate’s eventual inclusion in the Codex General Standard for Food Additives will help to reduce trade barriers for food supplement products containing this additive in the future.”

During its meeting the CCFA also endorsed recommendations from its Working Group to assign the functional class title 'carrier' to Potassium Aluminium Silicate (INS 555).


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