What is Novel Food?
Novel Food is defined as food that had not been consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997, when the first Regulation on novel food came into force.
'Novel Food' can be newly developed, innovative food, food produced using new technologies and production processes, as well as food which is or has been traditionally eaten outside of the EU.
Examples of Novel Food include new sources of vitamin K (menaquinone) or extracts from existing food (Antarctic Krill oil rich in phospholipids from Euphausia superba), agricultural products from third countries (chia seeds, noni fruit juice), or food derived from new production processes (UV-treated food (milk, bread, mushrooms and yeast).
The underlying principles underpinning Novel Food in the European Union are that Novel Foods must be:
- Safe for consumers
- Properly labelled, so as not to mislead consumers
- If novel food is intended to replace another food, it must not differ in a way that the consumption of the Novel Food would be nutritionally disadvantageous for the consumer.
Pre-market authorisation of Novel Foods on the basis of an evaluation in line with the above principles is necessary.