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What is the definition of novel food under the new Regulation?

The definition of novel food has not changed from the previous regulations. Novel food is
defined as “food that was not used for human consumption to a significant degree within the
Union before 15 May 1997, irrespective of the dates of accession of the Member States to the
Union”, and falls under at least one of ten specified food categories detailed in Article 3 of the
Regulation. [2]

According to the European Commission:
‘Novel Food’ can be newly developed, innovative food, food produced using new
technologies and production processes, as well as food which is or has been
traditionally eaten outside of the EU.

Examples of Novel Food include new sources of vitamin K (menaquinone) or extracts
from existing food (Antarctic Krill oil rich in phospholipids from Euphausia superba),
agricultural products from third countries (chia seeds, noni fruit juice), or food derived
from new production processes (UV-treated food (milk, bread, mushrooms and yeast).


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The underlying principles underpinning Novel Food in the European Union are that
Novel Foods must be:

• Safe for consumers
• Properly labelled, so as not to mislead consumers
• If novel food is intended to replace another food, it must not differ in a way that the consumption of the Novel Food would be nutritionally disadvantageous for the consumer.

Pre-market authorization of Novel Foods on the basis of an evaluation in line with the
above principles is necessary. [3]


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