Food Law News - UK - 2006

FSA News Item, 29 August 2006

NOVEL FOODS - Comments wanted on phytosterol

A French company has asked the Agency to rule on whether its phytosterol is substantially equivalent to one already approved for use in various food categories.

The company, DRT, has asked for a decision on its phytosterol ingredient, which is derived from tall oil pitch a substance distilled from pine resin. The basis of this request is that DRT is the sole supplier of Prima Pharm, whose product using this phytosterol was authorised in 2005, for use in products such as yellow fat spreads and soya drinks.


Phytosterols are used by the food industry for their cholesterol lowering properties. They are naturally present at low levels in vegetable oils and food derived from such sources.

The Novel Foods Regulation includes a simplified procedure where a novel food is considered substantially equivalent to a food that is already on the market. In this case, the applicant can submit a notification to the European commission after obtaining an opinion on equivalence from an EU Member State.

Deadline for comments

Any comments on this application should be sent to the Food Standards Agency by 18 September 2006 .

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