Blog Post

October 5, 2022

New EU regulations regarding maximum cyanide levels in food

The European Union Commission (EU) 2022/1364 has a new amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 starting the 4 of August 2022, regarding maximum levels of hydrocyanic acid in certain foodstuffs.

Cyanide is a chemical compound that contains a carbon and nitrogen (C≡N) functional group. Cyanide can be deadly toxic if exposed to higher quantities.

Cyanide exists in nature in various forms, usually it can be found in low concentrations, in more than 1000 plants in different forms, such as leaves (laurel), roots (potato, cassava), vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower), beans (lima), pits (apricots, plums) algae (blue-green algae), seeds (apple, flaxseeds) fungi, grain (corn, millet) and bacteria.

Hydrocyanic acid is a highly toxic substance. It is not present in food at toxically relevant levels; however, it is released when plant-derived foods containing cyanogenic glycosides are chewed or processed in a certain way. When those glycosides get into contact with hydrolytic enzymes they form hydrocyanic acid, which we refer to as a “cyanide”. 

The European Food Safety Authority concluded that a human exposure below the acute reference dose (ARfD) of 20 μg cyanide/kg body weight should not produce severe health consequences for health. However, certain foods such as linseeds, almonds and cassava could exceed these levels.

That is why the EU has introduced new maximum levels of cyanide in foodstuffs in order to prevent potential health issues.

In the table below we can see what the new maximum levels of cyanide are:


How can CyanoGuard help food companies comply with the new regulation?

Our fast and reliable solution helps food and beverage companies identify potential cyanide contamination and uphold high standards of food safety, quality and control.

We can support companies from the beginning of the agricultural production process by proactively monitoring the level of naturally occurring cyanide (e.g. cyanogenic glucosides) in plants or food.

Also, we can help you ensure that the food processing methods are sufficiently applied to reduce cyanide levels in food crops like cassava, almonds and bamboo shoots.

Our product can be also used for monitoring alcoholic beverages distilled using drupes (stone fruits) which need reliable monitoring solutions that eliminate the dangers of cyanide intoxication for the consumer. While most cyanide testing methods require lengthy sample preparation for ethanol-containing samples, our technology can handle most alcoholic liquor and spirit samples natively without any preparation.

Our solution is pre-calibrated and ready to use upon shipment, we have an internal calibration against a known standard. With every measurement, our device analyzes the color change and uses an AI-based algorithm to determine the calculation of free cyanide. Our device also performs a blank measurement with every actual measurement to account for any sensor drift or any other potential error. 

In case you have any additional questions regarding our technology, feel free to reach out to our team at

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