Unapproved novel foods health warning

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers boost unapproved novel foods
Media interest, the search for a ‘magic bullet’ health ingredient and consumers’ desire for health and wellness products are all contributing to the growth of unapproved novel foods.

So said Leatherhead Food Research innovation manager Steve Osborn, who also claimed that consumers, as well as businesses, needed to have a better understanding of the law surrounding the use of new so- called ‘health ingredients’.

The recent popularity of the chia seed and its perceived ‘benefits’ were bandied around the health pages of Sunday supplements and contributed heavily towards demand for the product. “But the fact is, novel food control of chia seeds is​ [limited] to bakery products at the moment,”​ Osborn added.

Weren’t aware

Consumers weren’t aware of the need for novel foods approval, nor were the journalists writing about the products, according Osborn. “It comes down to responsible journalism to provide a valuable and factual opinion on things like chia seeds and how they can be used,”​ he said.

But the more interest that novel foods get from journalists, the more businesses will want to sell them. “And they are the ones who could get into trouble if they are selling an unapproved novel food,”​ Osborn added.

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