FSA News Item, 21 August 2006
The Agency has received an application to use glucosamine hydrochloride in a range of foods, including smoothies and sports drinks.
The company, Cargill, has asked the Agency to approve glucosamine hydrochloride from Aspergillus niger as a novel food ingredient. A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union before 15 May 1997 .
Cargill wants to use its glucosamine as an ingredient in a range of pasteurised food products. These will include fruit juices and fruit juice products, such as tomato, tomato mixtures and fruit; smoothies, dehydrated instant drink mixes, fermented milk-based products, such as yoghurts and fromage frais, sports drinks and iced tea drinks.
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring amino-sugar that is a major building block of complex proteins called glycosaminoglycans, which form part of the structure of cartilage.
Cargill's glucosamine is produced through chitin sourced from a fungus, Aspergillus niger , whereas all other known commercial glucosamine products are derived from shellfish. Chitin is the white hard substance that is found, for example, in crab and lobster shells.
Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market, it must be rigorously assessed for safety. In the UK , this assessment is carried out by an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).
Deadline for comments
Any comments on this application should be sent to the ACNFP Secretariat by 10 September 2006 and will be passed to the Committee before it finalises its opinion.