Scientific opinion on the safety and efficacy of acetic acid, sodium diacetate and calcium acetate as preservatives for feed for all animal species

Acetic acid, calcium acetate and sodium diacetate are listed in the EU Register of Feed Additives as preservatives for use with feed for all animal species without restrictions. There is now an application for the re-authorisation of acetic acid and these salts as preservatives in feed and for a new use of acetic acid as preservative in water for drinking. They may be used alone or in combination with other organic acids typically in a concentration of 200 to 2,500 mg acetate/kg complete feeding stuffs. Acetic acid and its salts are considered equivalent when compared on a molar basis. Based on the comparison between consumer and target animals exposure to acetic acid and the limited experimental data available for chickens and the dogs fed diets containing acetate, a maximum concentration of 2,500 mg acetic acid/kg complete feed (or 1000 mg/L water for drinking) is considered safe for poultry, pigs and pet animals. The tolerance of ruminants is considerably higher. No data is available for salmonoids. Given the complete and rapid metabolism of acetate, the use of acetate in animal nutrition is not expected to contribute to human exposure. Acetic acid and its salts are bulk industrial chemicals and the hazards for those handling these substances are well known and documented. Acetates are normal components of the diet of humans and animals and are produced in molar quantities in the gastrointestinal tract. They are fully metabolised and so do not pose a risk to the environment. Acetic and its salts have the potential to act as preservatives in feeding stuffs and water for drinking.

Authors: Aquilina, Gabriele; Bories, Georges; Chesson, Andrew; Cocconcelli, Pier Sandro; de Knecht, Joop; Dierick, Noel Albert; Gralak, Mikolaj Antoni; Gropp, Jurgen; Halle, Ingrid; Hogstrand, Christer; Kroker, Reinhard; Leng, Lubomir; Puente, Secundino Lopez; Haldorsen, Anne-Katrine Lundebye; Mantovani, Alberto; Martelli, Giovanna; Mezes, Miklos; Renshaw, Derek; Saarela, Maria; Sejrsen, Kristen; Westendorf, Johannes; von Wright, Atte; Wester, Pieter ;Full Source: EFSA Journal 2012, 10(2), 2571, 15 pp. (English) ;