Food Law News - UK - 2007

FSA News Item, 30 July 2007

NOVEL FOODS - Decision on ice structuring proteins

The Agency's expert advisers on novel foods, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP), have provisionally approved an application to use an ice structuring protein preparation in food.

Their opinion now goes to other European Union member states for comment.

Ice structuring proteins (ISPs) are naturally occurring proteins and peptides, which are found in a variety of living organisms (such as fish, plants and insects). ISPs protect these organisms from tissue damage in very cold conditions by lowering the temperature at which ice crystals grow and by changing the size and shape of the ice crystals.

The applicant, Unilever, wants to use an ice structuring protein preparation in ice creams and similar products to influence the formation of ice structure during their manufacture. This ice structuring protein preparation will be obtained from the fermentation of a genetically modified food grade yeast (Saccharomyces cervisiae) in sealed vessels.*

Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market it must be rigorously assessed for safety. In the UK , the assessment of novel foods is carried out by the ACNFP, an independent committee of scientists.

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