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Views wanted on cycloastragenol as novel food ingredient

A company has applied to the Food Standards Agency to market a substance called cycloastragenol as a novel food ingredient. Views are wanted on the company's application to include the extract in food supplements. The deadline for comments is Monday 31 March 2014.

Cycloastragenol is extracted from Astragalus trojanus, a perennial flowering shrub of the Fabaceae family (more commonly known as the legume, pea or bean family). Other species of Astragalus also contain cycloastragenol, particularly Astragalus membranaceus. Extracts from these species are available in food supplements in the European Union.

The company, K&L Gates, has applied on behalf of Telomerase Activation Science Inc., for cycloastragenol to be approved under the Regulation (EC) No 258/97 (the ‘Novel Foods Regulation’).

The applicant states that the product is to be used for the maintenance or enhancement of physiological functions in the body that are associated with wellbeing and health.

A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within the EU before 15 May 1997.

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).

The Food Standards Agency is inviting comments on the application. Any comments should be emailed to the ACNFP Secretariat at by Monday 31 March 2014.

The comments received will be passed to the committee for consideration before it adopts its final opinion on this ingredient.


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