Food Law News - UK - 2007

FSA News Item, 18 September 2007

NOVEL FOODS - Views wanted on lycopene application

A Spanish company has applied to the Food Standards Agency to approve lycopene in a cold water dispersible form as a novel food ingredient.

Novel foods are a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union before 15 May 1997.

Vitatene, the company, hopes to market lycopene in a cold water dispersible form as a nutritional novel food ingredient in a range of food products, such as drinks, cereal and cereal products, milk and milk products, sugars, preserves and confectionery.

The application is similar to use of lycopene in an oil suspension form, which was authorised as a novel food ingredient in 2006.

What is lycopene?

Lycopene is an antioxidant, produced from the fermentation of the fungus Blakeslea trispora. It can also be found in red fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit and apricots.

Assessing safety

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 an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).

Deadline for views

Any comments on this application should be sent to the ACNFP Secretariat by 9 October 2007.

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