Trehalose. EC No. 24

May 2000: Application from Bioresco for approval of Trehalose as a novel food ingredient. Authorised September 2001.


Trehalose is a naturally occurring simple disaccharide of glucose (sugar) produced in bacteria and yeast cells, fungi and algae, and a few higher plants. It is also found in small amounts in foods such as mushrooms, bread, honey and fermented drinks which are consumed as part of an everyday diet.

Although of a similar calorific value to sucrose, it is only 40-45% as sweet. It would therefore be used to replace some of the sucrose in foods where the technological properties of sugar are needed but the desired taste is less sweet. Trehalose is proposed to be used in fruit fillings and toppings, cream fillings etc.

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

The application for Trehlosewas assessed by the UK under Regulation 258/97 (EC). The application was accepted in the year 2000 and was reviewed by the Committee to assess it whether the proposed use met the requirements under the regulation. Namely that it is safe, not misleading and would not put consumers as a nutritional disadvantage.

The Committee completed its assessment and published its positive opinion. This opinion was shared with the other Member States resulting in the product being authorised by the EU subject to the conditions specified in the authorisation.  In September 2001 Bioresco were granted authorisation to market Trehalose in the EU by Commission Decision 2001/721/EC.