Views Wanted on New Sweetener and Prebiotic

A Canadian company has applied to the Food Standards Agency for approval to market its isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO) as a novel food ingredient. A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union before 15 May 1997.

IMO is a mixture of linked glucose molecules known as oligomers and simple sugars known as oligosaccharides.

The company, Bioneutra Inc, intends to use powder and syrup forms of IMO as a nutritive sweetener and prebiotic in beverages, cereal products and sugar confectionery as well as nutritionally complete and fortified meal replacement bars and meals.

Before any new 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).

Deadline for comments

Any comments on this application should be sent to the ACNFP secretariat at by Tuesday 10 February 2009. Comments will be passed to the committee when it begins its assessment of this novel food ingredient.

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