DHA Rich Microalgal Oil. EC No. 88

January 2008: Application from Martek Biosciences Corporation, for the extension of use of a DHA-rich algal oil from the microalgae Schizochytrium sp under the novel food Regulation (EC) 258/97. Authorised October 2009.

The ACNFP first considered an application for the authorisation of this DHA-rich oil as a novel food ingredient in 2001-02. The UK Competent Authority submitted a favourable initial opinion to the Commission in June 2002 and the product was authorised in 2003, albeit with a reduction in the number of food categories. Martek Biosciences Corporation has now applied for authorisation for the use of this novel food ingredient in a wider range of food categories (bakery products, bread and rolls, nutrition bars, non-alcoholic beverages, milk based drinks and dairy analogue drinks).

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).

Following an initial public consultation period and the discussion of this application by the ACNFP at its meetings between January 2008 and July 2008, the Committee has formulated a positive initial opinion.

In October 2009 Martek Biosciences Corporation was granted authorisation to extend the use of their DHA-rich oil in the EU by Commission Decision 2009/778/EC.