28/04/2022

Novel Food versus Chlorella

Novel foods are products that were not on the market as a food or food ingredient nor consumed to a significant degree before 15 may 1997. Thus, their access to the EU market is subject to the Novel Food Regulation (EU) 2015/2283.

Examples of novel foods are products obtained from new sources or produced according to a ‘new’ method. Examples include modern biotechnology, nanotechnology or a new breeding technique. Sometimes this involves a combination of new ingredients and new production methods. It may also involve exotic products that are eaten in faraway countries but not yet in the EU. For example, certain juices of exotic plants from the tropical rainforest.

Safety of Novel Foods

New foods or ingredients in the EU must be tested prior to introduction according to the European Novel Food Regulation. The basic principles of this regulation are that the novel food:

  • must not present a danger for the consumer.
  • must not mislead the consumer.
  • must not provide fewer nutrients than the original product.

At the European level, the safety of the novel food or ingredient is assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Chlorella algae

Unicellular algae such as Chlorella are among the oldest forms of plant life on Earth. They are tiny plants with no roots, leaves or stems. They have inhabited our earth for about 2.5 billion years. In 1890 the Dutchman Beijerinck discovered the 2 billion years old one cell microalgae Chlorella.
Many specific algae have a history of safe consumption and substantial potential to contribute to a balanced and healthy diet. Duplaco®️ Chlorella pyrenoidosa is an example of such algae, which is listed in the EU Novel Food catalogue as not being a novel food. Therefore, the product can be legally used just like any normal food ingredient within the European Union.