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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Update of the list of qualified presumption of safety (QPS) recommended microorganisms intentionally added to food or feed as notified to EFSA

Koutsoumanis, Konstantinos; Allende, Ana; Alvarez-Ordonez, Avelino; Bolton, Declan; Bover-Cid, Sara; Chemaly, Marianne; de Cesare, Alessandra; Hilbert, Friederike; Lindqvist, Roland; Nauta, Maarten; Peixe, Luisa; Ru, Giuseppe; Simmons, Marion; Skandamis, Panagiotis; Suffredini, Elisabetta; Cocconcelli, Pier Sandro; Escamez, Pablo Salvador Fernandez; Maradona, Miguel Prieto; Querol, Amparo; Sijtsma, Lolke;
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The qualified presumption of safety (QPS) provides a generic pre-assessment of the safety of microorganisms intended for use in the food or feed chains, to support the work of EFSA's Scientific Panels. QPS assessment allows a fast track evaluation of strains belonging to QPS taxonomic units (TUs): species for bacteria, yeast, fungi, protists/microalgae and families for viruses. QPS TUs are assessed for their body of knowledge and safety. Safety concerns related to a QPS TU are reflected, when possible, as 'qualifications', which should be tested at strain and/or product level. Based on the possession of potentially harmful traits by some strains, filamentous fungi, bacteriophages, oomycetes, streptomycetes, Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia coli and Clostridium butyricum are excluded from the QPS assessment. Between October 2019 and September 2022, 323 notifications of TUs were received, 217 related to feed additives, 54 to food enzymes, food additives and flavourings, 14 to plant protection products and 38 to novel foods. The list of QPS-recommended TUs is reviewed every 6 months following an extensive literature search strategy. Only sporadic infections with a few QPS status TUs in immunosuppressed individuals were identified and the assessment did not change the QPS status of these TUs. The QPS list has been updated in relation to the most recent taxonomic insights and the qualifications were revised and streamlined. The qualification 'absence of aminoglycoside production ability' was withdrawn for Bacillus velezensis. Six new TUs received the QPS status: Bacillus paralicheniformis with the qualification 'absence of toxigenic activity' and 'absence of bacitracin production ability'; Bacillus circulans with the qualifications for 'production purposes only' and 'absence of cytotoxic activity'; Haematococcus lacustris (synonym Haematococcus pluvialis) and Ogataea polymorpha, both with the qualification 'for production purposes only'; Lactiplantibacillus argentoratensis; Geobacillus thermodenitrificans with the qualification 'absence of toxigenic activity'.


safety; QPS; food and feed; algae; protists; bacteria; yeast; viruses

Published in

EFSA Journal
2023, Volume: 21, number: 1, article number: e07747

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Food Science

    Publication identifier


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