The Agency’s expert advisers on novel foods have made an initial decision in favour of approving an application for phytosterols to be added to fruit juices, fruit nectars and tomato juice.
Phytosterols are used by the food industry for their cholesterol-lowering properties. They are naturally present at low levels in vegetable oils and in food derived from such sources.
Coca-Cola Services S.A proposes to add 0.4% of phytosterols to fruit juices, including tomato juice and nectars. The phytosterol ingredient is supplied by Cargill Ltd. and the authorities in Finland have issued an opinion on its acceptability as a novel ingredient in various other foods.
Before any novel 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 an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).
Following an initial public consultation period and the discussion of this application at meetings of the ACNFP, the Agency has issued a positive initial opinion for this novel food application. This opinion will now be forwarded by the European Commission to other Member States for comment.