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Novel and non-traditional foods, additives and processes

What is the impact and risk of novel and non-traditional foods, additives, and processes on the food system, including on consumer confidence? 

Food innovation and use of new foods and technological developments have the potential to add variety to our diets and address some of the challenges facing the food production system today. As these foods and feeds have not been eaten before there is a need to understand the impact of these new products or technologies to ensure consumers have access to safe food innovation. 

The overarching aim of this Area of Research Interest (ARI) is to understand the impact of these regulated products and emerging food innovations on the UK consumer.  

The major aims of this ARI include:  

  • Building our scientific understanding of new food products, processes and innovations; 
  • Exploring detection techniques to understand the nature of these products and to provide support for enforcement as needed; and  
  • Employing social science methodologies to assess consumer acceptance and uptake of food innovations. 

This ARI contributes to the wider work of the FSA on products that require premarket review to ensure any food safety issues are managed. This ARI also adds to the evidence base to understand new foods, food ingredients or feed additives that are near market so these can be assessed in a proportionate way.


Research projects related to the programme

Consumer research report on cannabidiol (CBD) extracts

This consumer research into the behaviours and attitudes of cannabidiol (CBD) extracts users was carried out to better understand how they use CBD and whether they are aware that it is classified as a ‘novel food’.

GMOseek: Development of screening methods for GMOs

In this project nine novel assays/methods to aid the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food/feed have been developed. Once successfully validated, the methods will be made available, worldwide, to improve the ability of enforcement laboratories to detect the current and next generation of GMOs present in food/feed.