New EU contaminant regulation

Tea, herbs and cumin are set to be impacted by revised contaminant regulations in the EU. An update specifying maximum limits for pyrrolizidine alkaloids in certain products comes into effect on 1 July 2022. This white paper outlines key facts and important considerations for businesses that produce or sell them.

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are toxins that various plants produce to protect themselves against external stress factors such as herbivores or climatic conditions. They have been identified in around 6,000 plant species.

PAs occur naturally in some plants that are used as food; borage and comfrey are known to contain high levels. Other products including tea, herbs and spices can be contaminated when PA-containing weeds are accidentally incorporated during harvest. PAs can also be found in honey when bees harvest pollen from PA-containing plants, as well as in meat and milk, if animals graze on plants containing PAs.

On 1 July 2022 Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/2040 enters into force, setting new limits for 35 named PAs such as intermedine, senecionine, europine and heliotrine. 

Read more in the full white paper below.

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