D-alpha-tocopheryl acid succinate, a natural form of vitamin E, is said to be between two to five times more bioavailable to the body than synthetic vitamin E. It is offered by companies such as ADM.
However the European Food Safety Agency's (EFSA) scientific panel on food additives, flavourings, processing aids and materials in contact with food was asked to advise on the safety and bioavailability of the ingredient as a follow-up to previous investigations.
TAS had already been evaluated by the former Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) which evaluated a number of substances for use in the manufacture of foods for PARNUTS products in May 1999.
The SCF considered TAS temporarily acceptable, pending submission of additional information to clarify the extent of hydrolysis of TAS in the gut and, consequently, whether any unhydrolysed TAS is available for absorption. The SCF agreed to extend its temporary acceptance of TAS in September 2000 and in April 2003, respectively.
Since then additional data on subchronic toxicity which covered both the bioavailability issue and possible effects of TAS, should any be absorbed intact, have become available, said EFSA in a statement on its website.
This included a new 90-day oral toxicity study on TAS in rats.