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. 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).
The ACNFP has now considered this application and has prepared a draft initial opinion.
Any comments on this draft opnion should be sent to the ACNFP Secretariat by Saturday 5 February 2011 and will be passed to the Committee before it finalises its opinion on this novel food ingredient.
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