FSA News Item, 6 June 2005
The Agency's expert advisers are calling for views on their draft opinion on allowing lycopene-rich tomato extract to be used as a novel food.
Novel foods are any foods or ingredient that don't have a significant history of consumption within the EU before May 1997. All novel foods are subject to a pre-market safety assessment under the Novel Foods Regulation (EC) No. 258/97. In the UK, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes carries out these assessments.
The extract is a lycopene oleoresin produced from red ripe, lycopene rich tomatoes with antioxidant properties. It is currently marketed as an ingredient in food supplements. It is also used in a more concentrated form as a food colour (E160d) within the European Union.
The applicant, LycoRed, proposes to market its lycopene oleoresin for use as a novel food ingredient in a range of food products, including yoghurts, cheese, bread, sausages and cereal bars, at a level of 5 mg of lycopene per serving.
The ACNFP is satisfied that the range of uses for the extract is acceptable provided its labelling indicates the products may not be suitable for children under three years of age.
Any comments should be sent to the ACNFP Secretariat by 16 June and will be passed to the committee before it finalises its opinion.