Isomaltulose, an isomer of sucrose, is a reducing disaccharide, composed of a glucose and fructose molecule, joined by a 1,6-glycosidic bond. It is reported to occur naturally at low levels in honey as well as in sugar cane extract. Cerestar proposed to market isomaltulose for use as a novel food ingredient in the EU. Approval was sought under Regulation (EC) No 258/97 concerning novel foods and novel food ingredients.
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 at the 20 November 2003 and 4 February 2004 meetings of the ACNFP, the UK Competent Authority formulated an initial opinion on this novel food ingredient.
In April 2005 Cerestar was granted authorisation to market isomaltulose in the EU by Commission Decision 2005/457/EC.