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Questions and Answers on Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Food

Updated BfR FAQ of 16 December 2022

A few years ago, high levels of 1,2-unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) were detected in tea and herbal tea. High concentrations of these compounds can also occur in certain honeys, depending on their origin. Moreover, leafy salads and herbs/spices may be contaminated with parts of plants containing PA, such as Senecio vulgaris (ragwort, groundsel), which contain significant amounts of 1,2-unsaturated PA. Food supplements made from or containing plants with a PA content may represent another source.

1,2-unsaturated PA are undesirable in food and feed, due to their harmful effects to human health. In the opinion of the BfR, further measures are needed, especially by the food industry, to reduce the contamination of foods with 1,2-unsaturated PA. The BfR has compiled questions and answers on this subject.



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Updated BfR FAQ
Questions and Answers on Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Food 77.2 KB


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