Chlorophylls and Chlorophyllins

Synonyms/Identifiers
Chlorophylls
-INS No. 140
-E 140(i)
-EINECS No. 215-800-7
-CAS No. 1406-65-1
-CI Natural Green 3
-CI No. 75810
-Magnesium Chlorophyll
-Magnesium Phaeophytinchlorophyll

Chlorophyllins
-E 140(ii)
-EINECS No. 287-483-3
-CAS No 85536-03-4
-CI Natural Green 5
-CI No. 75815
-Sodium Chlorophyllin
-Potassium Chlorophyllin

Physical Description
Chlorophyll is an oil soluble pigment obtained from Lucerne, Nettle, Spinach and Grass, providing an olive green color. The water soluble form, Sodium Chlorophyllin is obtained by the saponification of oil soluble forms. Chlorophyllin provides an olive green shade and has poor stability in both heat and light.

Common Uses
Typical applications for chlorophylls and chlorophyllins include confectionery, desserts, beverages, dairy products, ice cream, fruit preparation, bakery products, soups, sauces, snack food, seasonings, and convenience food.

Specifications
JECFA (Chlorophylls)
EU defined in Commission Regulation (EU) No 23/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions
Chlorophylls is a food additive that is included in Table 3 of the GSFA, and as such may be used in specified foods under the conditions of good manufacturing practices (GMP) as outlined in the Preamble of the Codex GSFA. Chlorophylls could also be used in heat-treated butter milk of food category 01.1.1 and spices of food category 12.2.1. Chlorophylls is acceptable in foods conforming to commodity standard CS 117-1981. Chlorophyllins do not have any provisions in the GSFA.

Regulatory Approvals/Consumption Limits
JECFA: An ADI ‘not limited’ was established for chlorophylls at the 13th JECFA (13th Report, 1969).

USA: Not approved for use in food

EU: No ADI was derived, but at reported use levels, chlorophylls are not of safety concern as regards their current use as food additives (EFSA, 2015). The Panel concluded that it was not possible to assess the safety of chlorophyllins as food additives (EFSA, 2015). Chlorophylls and Chlorophyllins are authorized as food additives in the European Union (EU) in accordance with Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 and maximum permitted levels (MPLs) have been defined in Annex II to the Regulation.

Safety Reviews
EFSA ANS Panel (EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food), 2015. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of chlorophylls (E 140(i)) as food additives. EFSA Journal 2015;13(5):4089, 56 pp. Available online.

EFSA ANS Panel (EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food), 2015. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of chlorophyllins (E 140(ii)) as food additives. EFSA Journal 2015;13(5):4085, 42 pp. Available online.

JECFA (1970) Toxicological evaluation of some food colors, emulsifiers, stabilizers, anticaking agents and certain other substances. 30th Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series No. 46A. Available online.

Full safety monograph available to IACM members or upon request.