Food Law News - UK - 2008

FSA News Item, 29 July 2008

NOVEL FOODS - Views wanted on Touchi extract

A Japanese company has applied to the Agency for approval to market its Touchi extract from fermented black beans as a novel food ingredient.

A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union before 15 May 1997.

Touchi extract is a protein-rich powder extracted from the fermentation of small soybeans with the fungus Aspergillus oryzae. The ingredient contains an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor and the company, CBC Co Ltd, intends for it to be consumed by anyone who wants to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates.

The extract is similar to black bean sauce, which has been on the market in the European Union for many years. One portion of black bean sauce contains 15g of fermented black beans, which corresponds to 4.5g of the novel food ingredient on extraction.

The company plans to market the ingredient as a food supplement and a tea/soup style formulation at levels that would not exceed 4.5g per daily serving/dose.

Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market, it must be rigorously assessed for safety. In the UK , the assessment of novel foods is normally carried out by an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).

Deadline for commentsAny comments on this full application should be emailed to the ACNFP Secretariat by Monday 18 August 2008. Comments will be passed to the Committee before it finalises its opinion on this novel food ingredient.

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