Edible oils and fats: level of erucic acid
The level of erucic acid in edible oils and fats must not exceed 5%. The Directive has established this maximum level in order to protect consumers from the possible toxic effects of ingesting the acid.
Council Directive 76/621/EEC of 20 July 1976 relating to the fixing of the maximum level of erucic acid in oils and fats intended as such for human consumption and in foodstuffs containing added oils or fats [See amending acts].
The aim of the Directive is to protect consumers from the possible negative effects of erucic acid in oils and fats. In order to achieve this, it fixes the maximum level of the substance which oils and fats intended for human consumption may contain.
This Directive covers:
- oils, fats and blends intended for human consumption;
- foodstuffs with a fat content of 5% or more.
Maximum level of erucic acid
The level of erucic acid contained in the products concerned must not exceed 5% of the total level of fatty acids in the fat component.
The preventive and protective character of these rules is reinforced by a safeguard clause. Under this clause, a Member State may suspend application of these provisions if new scientific findings conclude that the maximum level of erucic acid established in this Directive represents a danger to human health. In this case, the Member State must inform the Commission and the other Member States accordingly. The Commission will refer the matter to the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health and, in accordance with the normal procedure, submit to it a proposal for measures to be taken to amend the Directive.
The sampling and analysis methods for determining the erucic acid level in fats and foodstuffs to which they have been added are also agreed in accordance with the procedure of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.
|Act||Entry into force - Date of expiry||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Directive 76/621/EEC||28.7.1976||1.1.1977||OJ L 202 of 28.7.1976|
|Amending act(s)||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 807/2003||5.6.2003||-||OJ L 122 of 16.5.2003|