Novel foods set for EU overhaul

By Judy Buttriss

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Eu

Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
Novel foods and ingredients are defined as those that have not been sold in the EU to a significant degree prior to 1997, when the novel foods regulation was enacted, or have been subject to a novel production process resulting in significant change to composition or structure that affect nutrition, metabolism or level of undesirable substances. The approval process involves rigorous safety assessment.

There is no single list of foods considered by the EU to be novel but examples of inclusions and exemptions can be found in a guide to the nutrition and health claims regulation produced by the Bacchus project, which can be accessed here​.

New regulation

The novel foods regulation is being overhauled, with simplified and centralised application and authorisation procedures, designed to reduce time-to-market for ingredients and foods from outside the EU that can demonstrate history of safe use over at least 25 years and for ‘new’ foods and ingredients such as fungi, algae and insects.

Safety assessment will remain the focus. Data protection will expire at five years, potentially benefiting smaller companies and stimulating innovation and competitiveness in Europe.

Related topics: Legal, Food safety and labelling

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