Views wanted on algal oils

12 Apr 2013 02:23 PM

A company has applied to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to widen the use of two algal oils under the Novel Food Regulation (EC) No. 258/97. Views are wanted on the draft opinions, which were prepared by the FSA's independent committee of experts, on these novel food ingredients.

About the applications

The two applications are to extend the use of these two algal oils, which are both a source of omega-3 fatty acids and extracted from two different strains of Schizochytrium microalgae:

  • a docosahexaenoic acid-rich algal oil ('DHA-rich')
  • a eicosapentaenoic acid-rich oil ('EPA-rich')

Extending the use of both oils in this way will not lead to people consuming them at levels that are more than the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) tolerable upper intake level of EPA and DHA of 5g per day. These levels were set by EFSA in June 2012.

The company, DSM Nutritional Products (formerly Martek Biosciences Corporation), is seeking to align the authorised uses of the two oils, and use them in food supplements for doses of up to 3g per day.

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

Deadline for comments

The Agency is inviting comments on the two draft opinions. Any comments should be emailed to the ACNFP Secretariat at acnfp@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk by Monday 22 April 2013.

The comments received will be passed to the committee before it adopts its final opinions on the novel food ingredients.