Scientific opinion: Assessment of decontamination processes for dioxins and dioxin‐like PCBs in fish oil by physical filtration with activated carbon

Knutsen, Helle Katrine; Alexander, Jan; Barregård, Lars; Bignami, Margherita; Brüschweiler, Beat; Ceccatelli, Sandra; Cottrill, Bruce; Dinovi, Michael; Edler, Lutz; Grasl‐Kraupp, Bettina; Hoogenboom, L.A.P.; Nebbia, Carlo Stefano; Oswald, Isabelle P.; Petersen, Annette; Rose, Martin; Roudot, Alain-Claude; Schwerdtle, Tanja; Vleminckx, Christiane; Vollmer, Günter; Wallace, Heather; Lundebye, A.K.; Metzler, Manfred; Colombo, Paolo; Hogstrand, Christer


Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain(CONTAM) provided a scientific opinion on the assessment of decontamination processes involving theadsorption with activated carbon and physicalfiltration offish oil in order to reduce the amount ofdioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs)) anddioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs). All feed decontamination processes must comply withthe acceptability criteria specified in the Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/786. Two feed businessoperators provided data on their respective decontamination processes, which were assessed in terms ofthe efficacy of the process and the absence of adverse effects in the nature and characteristics of theproduct after decontamination. The processes proved to be able to remove PCDD/Fs (82–95%) andDL-PCBs (26–45%) from thefish oil, depending on the process used by the business operator. Given thatthe level of contamination is within the range of the tested untreatedfish oil, it is possible to meet EUrequirements for these contaminants after decontamination. The CONTAM Panel considered both theevidence provided by one of the business operators and information in the available literature toconclude that the proposed processes do not lead to any detrimental changes in the nature of thefishoil. However, the process can deplete some beneficial constituents (e.g. vitamins). Information wasprovided to demonstrate the safe disposal of the waste material. The CONTAM Panel concluded that, onthe basis of the information submitted by the feed business operators, the proposed decontaminationprocesses to remove dioxins (PCDD/Fs) and DL-PCBs from thefish oil by means of activated carbon andphysicalfiltration were compliant with the acceptability criteria provided for in Commission Regulation(EU) 2015/786 of 19 May 2015.