FSA News Item, 8 February 2011
A Spanish company has applied to the Food Standards Agency for approval to market cockerel combs extract as a novel food ingredient. A cockerel’s comb, which is referred to by the company as a rooster’s comb, is the large fleshy red skin on top of the cockerel’s head.
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.
The company, Bioiberica, states that rooster combs have been consumed in some European countries as part of traditional dishes. The applicant also states that rooster combs extract that is rich in sodium hyaluronate, helps to lubricate and cushion joints. The company plans to add the extract to dairy foods, including milks, yoghurts and fromage frais.
Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market, it must be assessed rigorously for safety. In the UK, the assessment of novel foods is carried out by the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP), an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency.