Dihydrocapsiate. EC No. 116

August 2010: Application from Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Japan for the authorisatin of Dihydrocapsiate Under the Novel Food Regulation (EC) 258/97. Authorised November 2012.


Dihydrocapsiate is a capsinoid and occurs naturally in edible pungent (hot) and non-pungent chilli peppers. The applicant states that capsinoids are able to enhance energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Capsinoids are chemical analogues of capsaicin which is the hot component creating the sensation of “hotness” in chilli peppers, while capsinoids are virtually non-pungent. Sourcing of large quantities of dihydrocapsiate from chilli peppers is not sustainable because of the relatively small amounts that are contained in and can be extracted from chilli peppers. Ajinomoto therefore intends to produce dihydrocapsiate synthetically to be added to a range of foods. Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market, it must be rigorously assessed for safety. 

Legal Backgroud

Before a novel food can be marketed legally in EU it requires a pre-market safety assessment under the Novel Food Regulation (EU) 2015/2283, previously 258/97 (EC). This is the Regulation establishes the legal basis for novel foods and the process for submitting a novel food authorisation(s).

One of the major changes under the revised Regulation, was the centralisation of the authorisation process at the EU level. Prior to this, applications for new novel foods were underwent initial assessment in a Member State to achieve an EU wide authorisation. This application was received by the UK under Regulation 258/97 EC and was assessed by our independent experts the Advisory Committee on novel foods and processes.

Application Status: Authorised

On 6 August 2010 the company Ajinomoto Co. Inc., Japan made a request to the competent authorities of the United Kingdom to place dihydrocapsiate on the market as novel food ingredient. On 10 March 2011 the competent food assessment body of the United Kingdom issued its initial assessment report. In this report it came to the conclusion that dihydrocapsiate will not present a health risk to consumers.

The Committee  published its positive opinion. This opinion was shared with the other Member States resulting in the product being authorised by the EU subject to the conditions specified in the authorisation.