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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Database of Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Reviews

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Report No.:  76
Type of Conclusion:  1
ID Code:  9042-08-4
Year:  1977
CFR Section:  184.1685
SCOGS Opinion:  Rennet is an extract containing the milk-clotting enzime, rennin, that is obtained from edible tissues of animals commonly used for food. It has been used for centuries in the production of cheese. Consumption of cheese, the major source of rennet in the diet, adds to the diet an insignificant amount of rennet protein (0.06mg of which 0.003mg is rennin) and very small amounts (0.1 mg or less per person per day) of preservatives such as sodium benzoate or methyl and propyl parabens, levels at which the Select Committee found no evidence of hazard in previous evaluations. Although rennin is a protease, it is unlikely to exert significant proteolytic activity on the mucosa of the alimentary tract since it is ingested at very low concentrations in the presence of large amounts of substrate and would be rapidly inactivated by digestion. No adverse effects have been reported in infants fed milk coagulated with rennin preparations. Teratogenicity tests on rennet by the chick embryo method have given negative results. In view of the foregoing, the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information on rennet that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when used at levels that are now current and in the manner now practiced, or those that might reasonably be expected in the future.