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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Sodium palmitate (packaging)

The GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Database allows access to opinions and conclusions from 115 SCOGS reports published between 1972-1980 on the safety of over 370 Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) food substances. The GRAS ingredient reviews were conducted by the Select Committee in response to a 1969 White House directive by President Richard M. Nixon.

Sodium palmitate (packaging)

  • SCOGS-Report Number: 86*
  • Type Of Conclusion: 1
  • ID Code: 408-35-5
  • Year: 1977
  • 21 CFR Section: 186.1771

SCOGS Opinion:

Although there are no data available to the Select Committee on the amounts of sodium oleate and sodium palmitate used in fabricating food containers or the amount that might migrate to food therefrom, it is evident that the amount of these compounds that could transfer to foodstuffs in the package would be many orders of magnitude below the quantities of the respective fatty acids normally present as triglycerides in many foods. The sodium salts of the fatty acids are toxicologically indistinguishable from the latter when consumed in small amounts. the Select Committee recognizes that large amounts of the free fatty acids can distort the physiological processes in a system that is organized to absorb and utilize the triglycerides, but such excesses would not be expected from the use of sodium oleate and sodium palmitate as food packaging material ingredients.

In light of the foregoing, the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information on sodium oleate and sodium palmitate that demonstrates or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect a hazard to the public when they are used as ingredients of paper and paperboard food packaging materials in the manner now practiced or as they might be expected to be used for such purposes in the future.

*Complete reports containing details of the safety studies that formed the basis of the opinions and conclusions and are available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161 (703) 605-6000.