Food Standards Agency
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Views wanted on magnolia bark extract

A US company has applied to the Food Standards Agency for approval to market magnolia bark extract 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.

The magnolia bark extract is obtained from the bark of the plant Magnoliae officinalis, a type of magnolia tree. This plant is native to the mountains of China and has been used for centuries as part of traditional Asian remedies.

The company, William Wrigley Jr. Company, wants to use the magnolia bark extract in two confectionary products – chewing gum and a limited number of mint confectionery products – for its perceived breath freshening properties.

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 an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).

Deadline for comments

Any comments on this application should be emailed to the ACNFP secretariat at by Monday 1 February 2010. The comments will be passed to the committee before it finalises its opinion on this novel food ingredient.

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