Refined Echium Oil. EC No. 74

August 2006: Application from Croda Chemicals Europe Ltd to approve refined echium oil as a novel food ingredient. Authorised July 2008.


Echium oil is a vegetable oil rich in omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is obtained by Super Refining oil extracted from the seeds of Echium Plantagineum. The applicant proposes to use its refined echium oil as a novel food ingredient in a range of food products (including milk and yoghurt based drinks, breakfast cereals and nutrition bars) and in food supplements. Approval is sought under Novel Foods Regulation (EC) No. 258/97.

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

 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 on the application and the discussion of this application by the ACNFP at its meetings between September 2006 and May 2007, the Committee has formulated a positive initial opinion on this refined echium oil. In July 2008 Croda Chemicals Europe Ltd was granted authorisation to market Refined Echium oil in the EU by Commission Decision 2008/558/EC.