Safety of selenium‐enriched biomass of Yarrowia lipolytica as a novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283

Turck, Castenmiller, De Henauw, Hirsch‐Ernst, Kearney, Maciuk, Mangelsdorf, McArdle, Naska, Pelaez, K. Pentieva, Siani, Thies, Tsabouri, Vinceti, Cubadda, Engel, Frenzel, Heinonen, MarchelliNeuhauser-Berthold, Poulsen, Sanz, Schlatter, van Loveren, Ackerl, Knutsen

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Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on selenium‐enriched biomass of Yarrowia lipolytica as a novel food (NF) pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. The NF is the dried and heat‐killed selenium‐enriched biomass of Y. lipolytica. This yeast species is widespread in nature, can be found in the environment and in foods, and was attributed the qualified presumption of safety (QPS) status for production purposes in 2018, including food and feed products based on biomass of the yeast. The production process, fermentation in the presence of sodium selenite, includes a heat‐killing step of the yeast, resulting in the absence of viable Y. lipolytica in the NF. The maximum total selenium content in the NF is 200 μg Se/g, mainly present as organic selenium compounds. The applicant proposed to use the NF as a food supplement. The target population proposed by the applicant is the general population from 3 years of age onwards, with maximum proposed use levels of 0.2 g/day for children from 3 to 9 years of age and 1 g/day thereafter. The Panel considers that the yeast biomass is not of safety concern at the proposed use levels. The Panel also considers that the selenium provided by the NF is as safe as selenium from other dietary sources. However, the Panel notes that, at the use levels proposed by the applicant, the intake of the NF could, in combination with a background diet high in selenium, lead to total selenium intakes exceeding the UL for selenium in all target population groups, except for children from 7 to 9 years. Furthermore, the Panel considers that newly emerging data warrant a reassessment of the UL for selenium.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere05992
Number of pages13
JournalEFSA Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020



  • novel food
  • selenium-enriched biomass
  • Yarrowia lipolytica

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