Rooster Combs Extract. EC No. 120

February 2011: Application from the Spanish company Bioiberica S.A. for the authorisation of Rooster Combs Extract (RCE) under the Novel Food Regulation (EC) 258/97. Under evaluation.

The applicant states that rooster combs have been widely consumed in Europe as part of traditional dishes. RCE is an extract of rooster combs rich (60-80%) in sodium hyaluronate (SH). The applicant states that SH helps in lubricating and cushioning joints.

In addition to SH, RCE also contains glycosaminoglycans (approx. 20%) and partially hydrolysed proteins (approx. 20 %). Glycosaminoglycans are long unbranched chains of polysaccharides made up of repeating disaccharide units. The hydrolysed proteins are polypeptides, peptides and amino acids obtained by the hydrolysis of the proteins in the extract e.g. hydrolysed collagen.

The applicant mentions that foods containing SH are very limited and only rooster combs and viscera have high amounts of this substance. These sources of SH are not consumed in all European countries and the applicant therefore proposes to incorporate RCE into certain dairy products which are consumed daily in Europe as a way of providing additional sources of SH in order to support joint health in the general population.

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 considered this application and has prepared a draft opinion.

Any comments on this draft opinion should be sent to the ACNFP Secretariat by Saturday 6th August 2011. Comments will be taken into account by the Committee before it adopts its final opinion on this ingredient.

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