EFSA says CLA ingredients are safe for use in food

The weight management ingredient conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a major step closer to gaining European Union Novel Food approval after scientists said it was safe for human consumption.

The European Food Safety Authority issued positive opinions on two CLA-related dossiers — one submitted by Netherlands-based Lipid Nutrition, which markets Clarinol CLA; the other by Germany-based Cognis, which produces Tonalin CLA.

Once the opinions have been ratified by the European Commission, the companies will be free to include CLA in a range of functional food and beverage products.

EFSA's opinions on the two ingredients, which are derived from safflower oil, can be viewed here and here.

Katinka Abbenbroek CEO at Lipid Nutrition, said EFSA's verdict would "open a new world of possibilities." She added: "We are excited. This evaluation of the EFSA is an important milestone. Together with the recent GRAS approval for Clarinol CLA, Lipid Nutrition will be able to help food companies capitalize on scientific substantiated research around weight management that largely is appreciated by their target consumer."

Arne Ptock, global product line manager for Tonalin at Cognis, said: "We have been eagerly awaiting this opinion from EFSA. It represents a significant milestone for Cognis and for our customers toward gaining Novel Food approval for Tonalin CLA. We are confident that we will soon be able to take this final step and we are prepared to support the European market with extensive food application expertise."

Andreas Bais, Cognis marketing manager nutrition & health, Europe, added: "The issues of weight management and body fat reduction are ever-present in the minds of consumers. The demand for Tonalin CLA will continue to grow as consumers become more aware of the limitations of quick solutions and of the need for a well-balanced and sustainable approach to body composition."

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