Thursday 26th July 2012, 12:14 London
Freshfel welcomes BAC guidelines
EU guidelines dealing with the presence of Benzalkonium Chloride in foodstuffs come have come into force
Freshfel Europe has praised the adoption of new European Union guidelines introduced today (26 July), that deal with the presence of quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC) in food products.
It follows the adoption of a similar set of guidelines for fellow QAC Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride (DDAC) by the EU Standing Committee of Food Chain and Animal Health on 13 July.
According to Freshfel, the temporary safety level of 0.5ppm applies to both substances, pending further investigations by authorities into various contamination sources, while direct application onto fresh produce remains forbidden and is not covered by the new guidelines.
The organisation pointed out that recent issues regarding the presence of QAC residues on fresh produce had emerged, leading to 'considerable disruptions' in trade, with laboratories detecting both DDAC and BAC on various foodstuffs. The compounds are mainly used as a biocide, but in some countries are also used as a pesticide, as well as being used as co-formulants in pesticides and biostimulants.
"The swift and responsible attitude from the fresh produce supply chain, investigating all possible contamination routes and providing analysis results, has contributed to a fast response from the EU Commission and Member States," said Frederic Rosseneu, director for quality and sustainability at Freshfel Europe.
"The adopted guidelines provide the industry with enough time to further investigate the exact causes of cross-contamination and discontinue any non-essential uses throughout the supply chain," he added.