Extracts from Rosmarinus officinalis L., more commonly known as rosemary, have been approved for use in the EU as food additive E932 under Regulation 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and the Council. Rosemary extracts are currently widely used to increase shelf life of food products. Rosemary extracts are characterised by two reference antioxidant compounds, carnosol and carnosic acid. This characterization allows for differences in rosemary extracts. Four approved production methods, as described by Commission Regulation 231/2012, produce rosemary extracts with different compositions and antioxidant activity. This results in difficulties to compare scientific data and to assess the safety of approved rosemary extracts. Based on unpublished studies for each of the four approved extract types, EFSA concluded that “the proposed uses and use levels would not be of safety concern“. Yet, gaps in knowledge still exist for the approved extracts as many different rosemary extracts are used in scientific research.
Food additives; E932; extracts of rosemary; legal status; toxicological data.
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