Issues in the United Kingdom
September 28, 2010
September 23, 2010, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA)
announced that it would meet according to its Incident Response Protocol to obtain further
information from food business operators on the presence of morpholine in food
products destined for the UK. The
genesis for the meeting was the detection of morpholine (at up to 2 ppm)
on apples from Chile. FSA suspects that morpholine was used as an
ingredient in the applied wax coating.
European Union food additives legislation (EC Regulation 1333/2008) morpholine
is not approved for use as a food glazing agent for fresh fruits in the EU and,
as such, product treated with this additive should not be placed on the market
for sale. The use of morpholine as
an ingredient of wax coating for fruit is permitted in the U.S., Canada and
has undertaken an initial risk-assessment which suggests exposure to
morpholine at the levels detected is likely to be of no more than low risk to
consumer health. A more comprehensive risk-assessment is being developed by
on a three year average, Washington state exports 1 million cartons (40#
carton) of apples per year to the United Kingdom. Roughly twenty-five
percent of that volume is for the organic market.
Organic apples may not be waxed. If
they are, morpholine should not be part of the formulation.
September 28, FSA
requested that the Fresh Produce Consortium, a UK trade association,
contact importers of fruit from the U.S., Canada and Chile to seek reassurance
from suppliers that they are not importing produce treated with the
non-permitted additive morpholine.
additional information contact Mark Powers or Dr. Mike Willett, Northwest Horticultural Council