An extensive literature search (ELS) provides information on the safety of a microorganism or product under authorised conditions of use. EFSA Guidance on the renewal of the authorisation of feed additives (2021) states that applicants must provide evidence of the safety of the additive in the application. To this end, an ELS must be done in a systematic and documented way. An ELS is also done for microorganisms considered for QPS, and is a useful tool for other purposes, too.
ELS is a blend between a conventional literature search and a systematic review approach.
Compared to conventional literature searches, one should be able to reproduce an extensive literature search and get the same results.
- An ELS should be transparent
- The review questions should be clearly stated
- The key elements should be defined
- The process should be properly documented and reported