Update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds

Helle Katrine Knutsen, Jan Alexander, Lars Barregård, Margherita Bignami, Beat Brüschweiler, Sandra Ceccatelli, Bruce Cottrill, Michael Dinovi, Lutz Edler, Bettina Grasl-Kraupp, Christer Hogstrand, Laurentius (Ron) Hoogenboom, Carlo Stefano Nebbia, Isabelle P. Oswald, Annette Petersen, Martin Rose, Alain-Claude Roudot, Tanja Schwerdtle, Günter Vollmer, Heather Wallace & 13 others Diane Benford, Girolamo Calò, Albert Dahan, Birgit Dusemund, Patrick Mulder, Éva Németh‐Zámboriné, Davide Arcella, Katleen Baert, Claudia Cascio, Sara Levorato, Marijke Schutte, Christiane Vleminckx, EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Poppy seeds are obtained from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.). They are used as food and to produce edible oil. The opium poppy plant contains narcotic alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. Poppy seeds do not contain the opium alkaloids, but can become contaminated with alkaloids as a result of pest damage and during harvesting. The European Commission asked EFSA to provide an update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds. The assessment is based on data on morphine, codeine, thebaine, oripavine, noscapine and papaverine in poppy seed samples. The CONTAM Panel confirms the acute reference dose (ARfD) of 10 μg morphine/kg body weight (bw) and concluded that the concentration of codeine in the poppy seed samples should be taken into account by converting codeine to morphine equivalents, using a factor of 0.2. The ARfD is therefore a group ARfD for morphine and codeine, expressed in morphine equivalents. Mean and high levels of dietary exposure to morphine equivalents from poppy seeds considered to have high levels of opium alkaloids (i.e. poppy seeds from varieties primarily grown for pharmaceutical use) exceed the ARfD in most age groups. For poppy seeds considered to have relatively low concentrations of opium alkaloids (i.e. primarily varieties for food use), some exceedance of the ARfD is also seen at high levels of dietary exposure in most surveys. For noscapine and papaverine, the available data do not allow making a hazard characterisation. However, comparison of the dietary exposure to the recommended therapeutical doses does not suggest a health concern for these alkaloids. For thebaine and oripavine, no risk characterisation was done due to insufficient data. However, for thebaine, limited evidence indicates a higher acute lethality than for morphine and the estimated exposure could present a health risk.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere05243
Number of pages119
JournalEFSA Journal
Volume16
Issue number5
Early online date16 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Fingerprint

opium alkaloids
morphine
codeine
thebaine
seeds
Papaver somniferum
dietary exposure
dosage
papaverine
alkaloids
risk characterization
hazard characterization
narcotics
pests

Keywords

  • poppy seeds
  • opium alkaloids
  • morphine
  • codeine
  • thebaine
  • acute reference dose (ARfD)

Cite this

Knutsen, H. K., Alexander, J., Barregård, L., Bignami, M., Brüschweiler, B., Ceccatelli, S., ... EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) (2018). Update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds. EFSA Journal, 16(5), [e05243]. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5243

Update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds. / Knutsen, Helle Katrine ; Alexander, Jan; Barregård, Lars; Bignami, Margherita; Brüschweiler, Beat ; Ceccatelli, Sandra; Cottrill, Bruce; Dinovi, Michael; Edler, Lutz; Grasl-Kraupp, Bettina ; Hogstrand, Christer ; Hoogenboom, Laurentius (Ron) ; Nebbia, Carlo Stefano ; Oswald, Isabelle P.; Petersen, Annette ; Rose, Martin ; Roudot, Alain-Claude ; Schwerdtle, Tanja ; Vollmer, Günter ; Wallace, Heather; Benford, Diane; Calò, Girolamo; Dahan, Albert; Dusemund, Birgit; Mulder, Patrick; Németh‐Zámboriné, Éva; Arcella, Davide ; Baert, Katleen; Cascio, Claudia; Levorato, Sara; Schutte, Marijke; Vleminckx, Christiane ; EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM).

In: EFSA Journal, Vol. 16, No. 5, e05243, 05.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Knutsen, HK, Alexander, J, Barregård, L, Bignami, M, Brüschweiler, B, Ceccatelli, S, Cottrill, B, Dinovi, M, Edler, L, Grasl-Kraupp, B, Hogstrand, C, Hoogenboom, LR, Nebbia, CS, Oswald, IP, Petersen, A, Rose, M, Roudot, A-C, Schwerdtle, T, Vollmer, G, Wallace, H, Benford, D, Calò, G, Dahan, A, Dusemund, B, Mulder, P, Németh‐Zámboriné, É, Arcella, D, Baert, K, Cascio, C, Levorato, S, Schutte, M, Vleminckx, C & EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) 2018, 'Update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds', EFSA Journal, vol. 16, no. 5, e05243. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5243
Knutsen HK, Alexander J, Barregård L, Bignami M, Brüschweiler B, Ceccatelli S et al. Update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds. EFSA Journal. 2018 May;16(5). e05243. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5243
Knutsen, Helle Katrine ; Alexander, Jan ; Barregård, Lars ; Bignami, Margherita ; Brüschweiler, Beat ; Ceccatelli, Sandra ; Cottrill, Bruce ; Dinovi, Michael ; Edler, Lutz ; Grasl-Kraupp, Bettina ; Hogstrand, Christer ; Hoogenboom, Laurentius (Ron) ; Nebbia, Carlo Stefano ; Oswald, Isabelle P. ; Petersen, Annette ; Rose, Martin ; Roudot, Alain-Claude ; Schwerdtle, Tanja ; Vollmer, Günter ; Wallace, Heather ; Benford, Diane ; Calò, Girolamo ; Dahan, Albert ; Dusemund, Birgit ; Mulder, Patrick ; Németh‐Zámboriné, Éva ; Arcella, Davide ; Baert, Katleen ; Cascio, Claudia ; Levorato, Sara ; Schutte, Marijke ; Vleminckx, Christiane ; EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM). / Update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds. In: EFSA Journal. 2018 ; Vol. 16, No. 5.
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abstract = "Poppy seeds are obtained from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.). They are used as food and to produce edible oil. The opium poppy plant contains narcotic alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. Poppy seeds do not contain the opium alkaloids, but can become contaminated with alkaloids as a result of pest damage and during harvesting. The European Commission asked EFSA to provide an update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds. The assessment is based on data on morphine, codeine, thebaine, oripavine, noscapine and papaverine in poppy seed samples. The CONTAM Panel confirms the acute reference dose (ARfD) of 10 μg morphine/kg body weight (bw) and concluded that the concentration of codeine in the poppy seed samples should be taken into account by converting codeine to morphine equivalents, using a factor of 0.2. The ARfD is therefore a group ARfD for morphine and codeine, expressed in morphine equivalents. Mean and high levels of dietary exposure to morphine equivalents from poppy seeds considered to have high levels of opium alkaloids (i.e. poppy seeds from varieties primarily grown for pharmaceutical use) exceed the ARfD in most age groups. For poppy seeds considered to have relatively low concentrations of opium alkaloids (i.e. primarily varieties for food use), some exceedance of the ARfD is also seen at high levels of dietary exposure in most surveys. For noscapine and papaverine, the available data do not allow making a hazard characterisation. However, comparison of the dietary exposure to the recommended therapeutical doses does not suggest a health concern for these alkaloids. For thebaine and oripavine, no risk characterisation was done due to insufficient data. However, for thebaine, limited evidence indicates a higher acute lethality than for morphine and the estimated exposure could present a health risk.",
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author = "Knutsen, {Helle Katrine} and Jan Alexander and Lars Barreg{\aa}rd and Margherita Bignami and Beat Br{\"u}schweiler and Sandra Ceccatelli and Bruce Cottrill and Michael Dinovi and Lutz Edler and Bettina Grasl-Kraupp and Christer Hogstrand and Hoogenboom, {Laurentius (Ron)} and Nebbia, {Carlo Stefano} and Oswald, {Isabelle P.} and Annette Petersen and Martin Rose and Alain-Claude Roudot and Tanja Schwerdtle and G{\"u}nter Vollmer and Heather Wallace and Diane Benford and Girolamo Cal{\`o} and Albert Dahan and Birgit Dusemund and Patrick Mulder and {\'E}va N{\'e}meth‐Z{\'a}mborin{\'e} and Davide Arcella and Katleen Baert and Claudia Cascio and Sara Levorato and Marijke Schutte and Christiane Vleminckx and {EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM)}",
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AU - Alexander, Jan

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AU - Bignami, Margherita

AU - Brüschweiler, Beat

AU - Ceccatelli, Sandra

AU - Cottrill, Bruce

AU - Dinovi, Michael

AU - Edler, Lutz

AU - Grasl-Kraupp, Bettina

AU - Hogstrand, Christer

AU - Hoogenboom, Laurentius (Ron)

AU - Nebbia, Carlo Stefano

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AU - Vollmer, Günter

AU - Wallace, Heather

AU - Benford, Diane

AU - Calò, Girolamo

AU - Dahan, Albert

AU - Dusemund, Birgit

AU - Mulder, Patrick

AU - Németh‐Zámboriné, Éva

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AU - Vleminckx, Christiane

AU - EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM)

N1 - The CONTAM Panel wishes to thank the hearing experts: Pavel Cihlar, Daniel Doerge and Vaclav Lohr for the support provided to this scientific output. The CONTAM Panel acknowledges all European competent institutions and other stakeholders that provided occurrence data on opium alkaloids in food, and supported the data collection for the Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database. Adopted: 22 March 2018 Reproduction of the images listed below is prohibited and permission must be sought directly from the copyright holder:Figure A.1 in Appendix A: © Elsevier.

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N2 - Poppy seeds are obtained from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.). They are used as food and to produce edible oil. The opium poppy plant contains narcotic alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. Poppy seeds do not contain the opium alkaloids, but can become contaminated with alkaloids as a result of pest damage and during harvesting. The European Commission asked EFSA to provide an update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds. The assessment is based on data on morphine, codeine, thebaine, oripavine, noscapine and papaverine in poppy seed samples. The CONTAM Panel confirms the acute reference dose (ARfD) of 10 μg morphine/kg body weight (bw) and concluded that the concentration of codeine in the poppy seed samples should be taken into account by converting codeine to morphine equivalents, using a factor of 0.2. The ARfD is therefore a group ARfD for morphine and codeine, expressed in morphine equivalents. Mean and high levels of dietary exposure to morphine equivalents from poppy seeds considered to have high levels of opium alkaloids (i.e. poppy seeds from varieties primarily grown for pharmaceutical use) exceed the ARfD in most age groups. For poppy seeds considered to have relatively low concentrations of opium alkaloids (i.e. primarily varieties for food use), some exceedance of the ARfD is also seen at high levels of dietary exposure in most surveys. For noscapine and papaverine, the available data do not allow making a hazard characterisation. However, comparison of the dietary exposure to the recommended therapeutical doses does not suggest a health concern for these alkaloids. For thebaine and oripavine, no risk characterisation was done due to insufficient data. However, for thebaine, limited evidence indicates a higher acute lethality than for morphine and the estimated exposure could present a health risk.

AB - Poppy seeds are obtained from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.). They are used as food and to produce edible oil. The opium poppy plant contains narcotic alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. Poppy seeds do not contain the opium alkaloids, but can become contaminated with alkaloids as a result of pest damage and during harvesting. The European Commission asked EFSA to provide an update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds. The assessment is based on data on morphine, codeine, thebaine, oripavine, noscapine and papaverine in poppy seed samples. The CONTAM Panel confirms the acute reference dose (ARfD) of 10 μg morphine/kg body weight (bw) and concluded that the concentration of codeine in the poppy seed samples should be taken into account by converting codeine to morphine equivalents, using a factor of 0.2. The ARfD is therefore a group ARfD for morphine and codeine, expressed in morphine equivalents. Mean and high levels of dietary exposure to morphine equivalents from poppy seeds considered to have high levels of opium alkaloids (i.e. poppy seeds from varieties primarily grown for pharmaceutical use) exceed the ARfD in most age groups. For poppy seeds considered to have relatively low concentrations of opium alkaloids (i.e. primarily varieties for food use), some exceedance of the ARfD is also seen at high levels of dietary exposure in most surveys. For noscapine and papaverine, the available data do not allow making a hazard characterisation. However, comparison of the dietary exposure to the recommended therapeutical doses does not suggest a health concern for these alkaloids. For thebaine and oripavine, no risk characterisation was done due to insufficient data. However, for thebaine, limited evidence indicates a higher acute lethality than for morphine and the estimated exposure could present a health risk.

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KW - thebaine

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