Views wanted: UK authority issues novel food drafts for microalgae DHA and green tea-lychee combo

By Nathan Gray contact

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Views wanted: UK authority issues novel food drafts for microalgae DHA and green tea-lychee combo
The novel foods committee at the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) is asking for views on two draft opinions – which as it stands would provide approval for DHA from a microalgae source and a product that combines extracts of lychee fruit and green tea.

The Advisory Committee for Novel Food and Processes (ACNFP), the panel of independent scientists responsible for assessing novel food applications in the UK, has issued two draft opinions which it is now seeking comments on to inform discussion of these dossiers at EU level.

The first application is seeking to extend the types of food in which oils rich in DHA fatty acids produced from microalgae can be used.

A dossier submitted by Mara Renewables Corporation notes that the proposed extensions of use for its DHA rich algal oil are for additional product categories – namely fruit and vegetable purees, and infant formula – in the EU.

After reviewing responses to several further issues raised after the application, the Committee did not have any outstanding safety concerns.

“Based on the evidence provided the ACNFP therefore concluded that the extension of use for DHA rich oil from Schizochytrium sp. used as proposed by the applicant is unlikely to present a health risk to consumers,”​ the draft opinion concludes. “The Committee also considers that as proposed to be used the novel food would not be nutritionally disadvantageous.”

The full draft opinion can be found here.

The second novel food opinion related to an application by Amino Up Chemical Company Ltd for a new novel food produced from a combined extract of lychee fruit and green tea – known as Oligonol.

The product is made via an oligomerisation reaction that cleaves polyphenols present in a combined extract of lychee fruit and green tea into monomers and low molecular weight oligomers. The final Oligonol product is therefore composed mainly of monomeric flavan-3-ols, as well as procyanidins formed from the condensation of these monomeric units.

“The applicant proposes to incorporate Oligonol into a range of different foods including dairy products, confectionery, cereals, bakery wares, non-alcoholic beverages and foods for particular nutritional uses,”​ noted ACNFP – adding that while product is intended to serve as another source of dietary polyphenols no assessment has been made on its efficacy “as this is outside the remit of the novel foods risk assessment.”

The panel noted that there is a potential risk from contamination of lychee nut in the starting materials, which should be highlighted to risk managers for them to consider the further risk management measures needed to protect cashew nut allergic consumers – but conclude that based on the evidence provided used in the ways and doses proposed by the applicant, Oligonol “is unlikely to present a health risk to consumers.”

The full draft opinion can be found here.​ 

The UK FSA noted that any comments on these draft opinion should be emailed to the ACNFP secretariat at acnfp@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk​ by Friday 10 November 2017 and will be passed to the Committee and colleagues in the EU to inform the assessment of these dossiers

Related topics: Regulation & Policy

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