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Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)


E 101 | Dyestuff
Possible use of gene technology Labelling
Production with help of GM microorganisms No



Vitamin B2 is needed for the energy balance of cells and occurs mainly in milk, cheese, eggs, meat, yeast and liver. 

  • Generally, consumers in Central Europe absorb sufficient quantities of vitamin B2 via food intake.


Vitamin B2 is predominantly used as yellow dye. For this use, vitamin B2 counts as an additive and has to be listed as riboflavin (E 101) on the list of ingredients. Riboflavin (also: lactoflavin) is an approved food dye and is not subject to a limitation of maximum permissible quantity

Also in vitaminised food, multivitamin supplements and in large quantities as addtive in feed.

Gene technology

To date, vitamin B2 was synthesised predominantly in a multiple-stage chemical procedure. Meanwhile it is also produced with help of genetically modified microorganisms.

The Swiss concern, Roche Vitamins AG, by now taken over by the DSM, has developed a production technique that employs GM microorganisms (Bacillus subtilis). Since 2000, in Grenzach, close to Basel, a facility for the production of vitaminB riboflavin is in operation.

BASF now also produces vitamin B2 with help of GM microorganisms.

Approval: vitamin B 2 produced with help of GM microorganisms has been approved since March 2000, according to the then controlling Novel-Food-regulation.

Labelling: additives, produced in closed systems with help of GM microorganisms, are not subject to a labelling requirement, provided that the respective additive has been purified and does not contain any microorganisms.

Even if the microorganisms obtain nutrients (substrates) derived from GM plants, the additive is not subject to a labelling requirement.


December 3, 2004 [nach oben springen]

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