EFSA proposes dietary reference values for copper

Posted: 1 July 2015 | | No comments yet

EFSA has proposed dietary reference values for copper, an essential micronutrient that is necessary for electron transfer processes…

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed dietary reference values for copper, an essential micronutrient that is necessary for electron transfer processes.


The draft Scientific Opinion – the latest in EFSA’s ongoing work on dietary reference values for EU population groups – is now open for public consultation.

Webinar: eBook: Thermo Fisher Scientific Food Integrity Collection 2017

Over the course of the year Thermo Fisher Scientific have provided expert comment on a whole swathe of issues including food fraud, origin testing and labelling regulations. This collection also provides access to Thermo Fisher’s Food Authenticity webinar series for 2017, where experts delve into olive oil characterisation, gelatin speciation, honey and chromatography, and more.

Click here to find out more

Copper is an essential trace element. It is a central component of many enzymes, including those involved in neurotransmitter synthesis, in energy metabolism and in cross-linking of collagen and elastin.  Copper deficiency can produce anaemia-like symptoms, neutropenia, bone abnormalities, hypopigmentation, impaired growth, increased incidence of infections, osteoporosis, hyperthyroidism, and abnormalities in glucose and cholesterol metabolism.

Grains are a good source of copper

EFSA’s Panel on Nutrition, Dietetic Products and Allergies derived Adequate Intakes (AIs) based on mean observed intakes in several EU countries. Data from balance studies in adults were used as supportive evidence. The proposed values are:

GroupAdequate Intake
Infants 7–11 months0.4 mg/day*
Males and females 1 to < 3 years0.7 mg/day
Males and females 3 to < 10 years1.0 mg/day
Males 10 to < 18 years1.3 mg/day
Females 10 to < 18 years1.1 mg/day
Male Adults1.6 mg/day
Female Adults1.3 mg/day
Pregnant and lactating women1.5 mg/day

*mg/day = milligrams per day

The main food group contributing to the copper intake of all population groups except infants is grains. Other important contributors to copper intake are meat and meat products, starchy roots or tubers, coffee, tea and fish.

The draft Scientific Opinion is open for comment until 6 August 2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend