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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Clove Leaf Oil

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.

Clove Leaf Oil

  • SCOGS-Report Number: 19*
  • Type Of Conclusion: 1
  • ID Code: 8000-34-8
  • Year: 1973
  • 21 CFR Section: 184.1257

SCOGS Opinion:

The available information indicates that orally administered eugenol, the principal ingredient of cloves and products derived from them, is readily absorbed and excreted without accumulation. Eugenol exhibits a low degree of toxicity for the several animal species tested, and only at levels far greater than those occurring in foods, does it appear to be able under some conditions to produce irritation of the squamous epithelium of the gastrointestinal tract. It is to be noted that cloves, clove oils and eugenol have long been used topically as analgesics, germicides, and for other purposes. In the light of the foregoing, the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information on cloves, clove oils and their principal constituents, eugenol, that demonstrates or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected 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.