Last updated on 18 February 2014

Views wanted on algal oil

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A company has applied to the Food Standards Agency to market an algal oil under the Novel Food Regulation (EC) No. 258/97 and views are wanted on the draft opinion of the FSA's independent advisory committee, the Advisory Committee on Novel foods and Processes (ACNFP). The deadline for sending comments is Friday 28 February 2014.

About the application

This is the sixth full application the FSA has received for oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids extracted from the microalgae Schizochytrium sp.

This oil, which is rich in the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is extracted from a newly isolated strain of the microalgae, and the company, DSM Nutritional Products, proposes to use the oil primarily as a source of DHA in infant and follow-on formula.

The DHA that is currently used in infant formula is typically extracted from tuna fish oil or from a microalgae, Crypthecodinium cohnii.

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 ACNFP.

Deadline for comments

The Food Standards Agency is inviting comments on the ACNFP’s draft opinion. Any comments should be emailed to the ACNFP secretariat at acnfp@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk by Friday 28 February 2014.