Food Law News - UK - 2007

FSA News Item, 24 September 2007

NOVEL FOODS - Glucosamine hydrochloride novel food application latest

In August 2006 the Agency consulted on an application to use glucosamine hydrochloride in a range of foods, including smoothies and sports drinks. Our advisory committee has concluded that a further assessment is required, and comments will now be invited from other EU countries.

Following the initial public consultation on the application, the assessment of the novel food application was carried out by an independent scientific committee appointed by the Food Standards Agency, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).

Earlier this year, the committee concluded that the novel food application requires additional assessment, as foreseen in Article 6(3) of regulation (EC) 258/97, and that a decision on authorisation of this novel food ingredient should be taken once European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) advice is available.

This initial opinion will now be forwarded by the European Commission to other Member States for comment.


Cargill hopes to use its glucosamine as a novel food 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, yoghurts and fromage frais, sports drinks and iced tea drinks.

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring amino-sugar, a major building block of complex proteins called glycosaminoglycans, and form a component in the structure of cartilage.

Cargill's glucosamine is sourced from a fungus, Aspergillus niger , whereas all other known commercial glucosamine products are derived from shellfish.

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 ACNFP.

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