FSA News Item, 28 January 2013
A US company has asked the FSA's expert advisers on novel foods to consider its application for a refined oil to be approved for use in the European Union under the simplified approval procedure. The oil is from a plant known as Buglossoides arvensis. A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union (EU) before 15 May 1997.
The simplified approval procedure and 'equivalence'
The company, Technology Crops International, is requesting an opinion from the Agency on the 'equivalence' of their refined edible oil, which is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturates. The oil is extracted from the seeds of the herbaceous plant Buglossoides arvensis.
The basis of this request is that its product is equivalent to the refined oil from Echium plantagineum, marketed by the company Croda Chemicals Europe Ltd.
The European Novel Foods Regulation includes a simplified approval procedure for when a company thinks its novel food is substantially equivalent to a food that is already on the market. In such a situation, the applicant can submit a notification to the European Commission after obtaining an opinion on equivalence from an EU Member State – in this case the UK.
More about the oil
Refined oil from Bugglossoides arvensis seeds would be used in the same products as those for which approval has been granted in 2008, for Croda’s echium oil:
About novel foods
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.
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 Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes, an independent committee of scientists appointed by the FSA.
Deadline for comments
Any comments on this application should be emailed to the ACNFP Secretariat at ACNFP@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk by Monday 18 February 2013.
The comments will be passed to the Committee during its assessment of this novel food ingredient.