The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has recently published two separate guidance documents intended to help food producers and importers ensure the safety of novel and traditional foods.
Adopted in November 2015, Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 defines a novel food as “any food that was not used for human consumption to a significant degree in the (European) Union before 15 May 1997.” The Regulation is intended to cover foods from new sources, foods obtained or produced through the application of new technologies, or foods that incorporate new substances.
Traditional foods represent a subset of novel foods and primarily refers to foods traditionally consumed in countries outside of the EU, such as foods made from plants, microorganisms, fungi, algae and animals.
The EFSA guidance documents offer detailed explanations of the kind of information needed to assess the safety of these foods and how applicants should prepare this information for review by the EFSA.
The text of the EU’s Regulation 2015/2283 on novel foods is available here. Access to the two EFSA guidance documents, along with other relevant information, is available here.