Food Law News - UK - 2010

FSA News item, 1 September 2010

NOVEL FOODS - Views wanted on dihydrocapsiate

A Japanese company has applied to the Food Standards Agency for approval to market dihydrocapsiate 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.

Dihydrocapsiate occurs naturally in chilli peppers. The company, Ajinomoto, states that dihydrocapsiate can improve energy expenditure and fat oxidation, which can have a role in weight management.

Because chilli peppers contain relatively small amounts of dihydrocapsiate, the company plans to produce dihydrocapsiate synthetically, and add this to a range of foods, such as baked goods, beverages, confectionary, cereals and desserts.

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

Deadline for comments

Any comments on the application should be emailed to the ACNFP secretariat at by Wednesday 22 September 2010. The comments will be considered by the committee when it begins its assessment of this novel food ingredient.

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