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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Food

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Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Succinic acid

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.

Succinic acid

  • SCOGS-Report Number: 53*
  • Type Of Conclusion: 1
  • ID Code: 110-15-6
  • Year: 1975
  • 21 CFR Section: 184.1091

SCOGS Opinion:

Succinic acid occurs widely as a natural constituent of the plants and animals which are commonly used for human food. As one of the intermediary metabolites in the citric acid cycle, it may participate in the net synthesis of glucose and other sugars and fatty acids normally present in plant and animal tissue. At the level succinic acid occurs naturally in foods, there is no evidence that it is hazardous to man or animals. Moreover, experimental animals tolarate succinic acid in amounts equivalent to several g per kg of body weight. By contrast, a reasonable average daily intake of succinic acid added to foods is estimated to be less than 0.01 mg per day, a dosage that is orders of magnitude less than that required to elicit toxic signs in experimental animals. There have been few scientific studies designed to explore possible untoward effects of succinic acid. However, the normal role of succinic acid as an intermediary metabolite in living organisms including man, is persuasive in favor of its safety. Based on these considerations, the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information on succinic acid that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable ground to suspect, a hazard to the public when it is 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.