Following an initial public consultation period and the discussion of this application at the 25 March 2004 and 27 May 2004 meetings of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP), the UK Competent Authority formulated an opinion on this novel food ingredient.
This application was made under the Novel Foods Regulation (EC) No 258/97.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid which is found in Haematococcus pluvialis. This microalgae is part of the diet of fish or crustaceans (e.g. salmon, shrimps) and is responsible of the pink coloration in their flesh, through the ingestion of astaxanthin.
The algae H. pluvialis is currently sold to European consumers in the form of a dried meal. A Swedish company, AstaCarotene (owned by Fuji Chemical Industries, Japan) has been selling capsules containing dried H. pluvialis algae (Astaxin) since at least 1995.
US Nutra claimed equivalence to the algal meal product marketed by Astacarotene. This claim is substantiated by comparing the composition of the extract with their algal meal raw material, which in turn is equivalent to the algal meal product currently available on the EU market.