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Echium omega-3 oil replacer wins UK novel food nod

By Shane Starling , 09-Dec-2013

UK FSA on Buglossoides arvensis: "...no apparent safety concerns relating to this novel ingredient..."
UK FSA on Buglossoides arvensis: "...no apparent safety concerns relating to this novel ingredient..."

UK authorities have backed a seed-based omega-3 and omega-6 oil source marketed as an alternative to echium oil after reviewing an EU novel foods application.

In its draft opinion that followed a public consultation, the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) found no safety concerns for Buglossoides arvensis seeds after assessing the application from US firm Technology Crops International (TCI) opening the way to EU-wide approval.

The oil is high in stearidonic acid (SDA). TCI said it is less allergenic and 20% cheaper than echium oil, although both are more expensive than most marine-sourced oils.

The Committee was satisfied that there are no apparent safety concerns relating to this novel ingredient or its known constituents and was content that it is not necessary to conduct a human study to obtain further data,” said the UK Food Standards Agency’s Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).

Stakeholders have until December 15 to comment on the opinion that applies to dairy, bakery, medical food and food supplement applications.

European Union novel foods rules require any food or ingredient that cannot demonstrate a history of use prior to May 1997 to verify its safety and intended use.

The EU is considering centralising the novel foods process after it was decentralised and simplified in 2009.

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