FSA invites comments on novel food application for omega-3 rich oil

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Omega-3 fatty acid Fat Nutrition

The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) is asking views on a novel foods application for an omega-3 rich plant oil product for dairy, bakery and supplement applications.

The application for novel food status comes from US firm Technology Crops International (TCI), which plans to introduce products made from the refined oil made of omega-3 rich Buglossoides arvensis seeds.

The FSA application (found in full here) shows that TCI intends to market the refined oil as a novel food ingredient to be incorporated into a range of foods, including milk-based products and drinkable yoghurts, breakfast cereals, food supplements.

In its application the American firm suggests that the oil could be consumed by people looking to increase their intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, but who are unwilling or unable to consume fish oils - for example vegetarians.

TCI said that Buglossoides oil is closely related, taxonomically, and is similar in composition, to Echium oil whichis approved for sale as a food in the EU.

"The fatty acid profiles of the two oils are similar, with the same fatty acids being present; Buglossoides oil having a higher concentration of SDA and ALA and a lower concentration of GLA,"​ the firm wrote in its application.

"The non-saponifiable fractions of the two oils are also similar in composition, comprising largely of sterols and tocopherols."

The application proposes that Buglossoides oil "should be used in the same food groups and to an inclusion rate which will give the same level of SDA in the food as has been approved for Echium oil in the EU, with the aim of providing approximately 200mg of SDA per daily serving."

"This will result in a lower level of inclusion of Buglossoides oil than Echium oil because of the higher SDA content in the former"

The FSA said it welcomes any comments on the application. All comments should be emailed to the ACNFP Secretariat at NPASC@sbbqfgnaqneqf.tfv.tbi.hx​ by Monday 15 July 2013.

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