Unauthorised novel foods

From time to time, the FSA is made aware of food or food ingredients that may be on the UK market without the necessary authorisation as a novel food. We publish information about these potential unauthorised novel foods, and first began doing this in October 2013. The information includes food and food ingredients currently under review, and those that have been reviewed.

Summary

When the FSA is made aware of a food or a food ingredient that may be on the UK market without the necessary authorisation as a novel food, the FSA invites evidence that the food or food ingredient was consumed to a significant degree in the European Union (EU) before May 1997. If this history of consumption can be demonstrated, the Novel Foods Regulation does not apply. But if there is no history of consumption, then the food or food ingredient cannot legally be marketed in the EU until the necessary authorisation has been issued.

Under review: potential unauthorised novel food

No foods and food ingredients are currently being reviewed as potential unauthorised novel foods. When any foods and food ingredients are being reviewed, details will be added to a table immediately below.

Reviewed food: status

A number of foods and food ingredients have previously been reviewed and the FSA's advice on their status is shown in the table below.

Food that has been reviewed
Food or food ingredient Description FSA advice on novel food status FSA original request for information
African green mango, and extracts (Irvingia gabonensis) Ingredients derived from Irvingia gabonensis, other than the seeds and simple water extracts of the seeds, are novel. Status: fruit and certain extracts are novel food

Read the August 2014 letter
Read the 23 May 2014 letter
Acacia rigidula Acacia rigidula, commonly known as Blackbrush Acacia, is used in food supplements that claim weight loss properties. Status: unauthorised novel food

Read the March 2014 letter
Read the October 2013 letter
Raspberry ketones Raspberry ketone is extracted from raspberries, or is chemically synthesised, and is used, in concentrated form, in food supplements that claim weight loss properties. Status: certain extracts are novel

Read the March 2014 letter
Read the October 2013 letter
Mesquite Mesquite (Prosopsis pallida) is a tree, mainly found in South America. Meal (flour) made from its seed pods has been sold in the UK. Status: unauthorised novel food

Read the May 2011 letter
Read the March 2011 letter

EU novel food catalogue

The European Commission maintains a catalogue of food and food ingredients whose 'novel' status has been reviewed at EU level since the Novel Foods Regulation came into force in 1997. The catalogue can be found via the 'External sites' link on this page.