Lycopene-rich tomato extract. EC No. 54

September 2004: Application from LycoRed to approve a lycopene rich tomato extract as a novel food ingredient. Authorised April 2009.

The extract is a lycopene oleoresin produced from red ripe, lycopene rich tomatoes with antioxidant properties. It is currently marketed as an ingredient in food supplements. It is also used in a more concentrated form as a food colour (E160d) within the European Union.

The applicant proposes to market its lycopene oleoresin for use as a novel food ingredient in a range of food products, (including yoghurts, cheese, bread, sausages and cereal bars) at a level of 5 mg of lycopene per serving.

Approval is sought under Novel Foods Regulation (EC) No 258/97.

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 24 November 2004, 26 January, 30 March and 19 May 2005 meetings of the Advisory Committee on Novel Food and Processes (ACNFP), the UK Competent Authority has formulated an initial opinion on this novel food ingredient.

In April 2009 LycoRed was granted authorisation to market its lycopene from tomatoes in the EU by Commission Decision 2009/355/EC.