Health Canada's Food Directorate received a food additive submission from a petitioner seeking approval for the use of chitosan from white button mushrooms (Agaricusbisporus) as a preservative in numerous foods at maximum levels of use ranging from 150 parts per million (ppm) to 1,500 ppm. The petitioner provided examples of products that would be included in the requested food categories.
The Food Directorate concluded that information related to the safety and efficacy of chitosan from white button mushrooms (A. bisporus) supports its use as an antibacterial agent and an antifungal agent in the foods of interest. Therefore, Health Canada proposes to enable this use of chitosan from white button mushrooms (A. bisporus) by adding it in the List of Permitted Preservatives.
Chitosan is derived from chitin, a naturally occurring carbohydrate polymer that is widely distributed in nature (e.g., crustacean shells, fungal cell walls). The chitosan that was the subject of the premarket assessment is from chitin fibres found in the cell walls of non-genetically modified white button mushrooms (A. bisporus).
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