Food Law News - UK - 2011

FSA News Item, 26 January 2011

NOVEL FOODS - Views wanted on synthetic dihydrocapsiate

A Japanese company has applied to the Food Standards Agency for approval to market dihydrocapsiate as a novel food ingredient. The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP), an independent advisory committee, has prepared a draft opinion on this ingredient. Comments are invited.

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 rigorously assessed for safety. In the UK, the assessment of novel foods is carried out by the ACNFP, an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency.

Deadline for comments

The ACNFP has considered this application and has prepared a draft opinion. Any comments on this draft opinion should be emailed to the ACNFP secretariat at by Saturday 5 February 2011. The comments will be considered by the committee before it adopts is final opinion on this novel food ingredient.

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