Noni juice: Noni de Tahiti Ltd

May 2007: Application from Noni De Tahiti Ltd for an opinion on the equivalence of noni fruit (from the fruit of <em>Morinda citrifolia</em> L). Authorised in June 2007. Awaiting notification from the Commission.

About Noni Juice

Noni juice comes from the fruit commonly known as 'noni'. But it is also known as 'Indian Mulberry' and 'nonu'. It is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia and to have been distributed subsequently by ancient voyagers or other means into the Pacific islands, including Tahiti and Hawaii. The plant is also found in India, Africa and the West Indies. It resembles a small evergreen shrub or tree that grows from three to six metres. Its fruit are green until maturity, when they rapidly turn to a light yellow and then a translucent white.

Background

An application for noni juice (juice of the fruit of Morinda citrifolia L.), made under the Novel Foods Regulation (EC) 258/97 was approved on 5 June 2003. This approval applies to the applicant company only, but Regulation (EC) 258/97 makes provision for novel foods or ingredients that are substantially equivalent to an existing product to be placed on the market once the applicant has informed the European Commission.

In all cases to date, the Commission has required that the applicant first obtain an opinion on substantial equivalence from a member state.

Noni de Tahiti Ltd requested such an opinion from the UK. The basis of this request was that Noni de Tahiti Ltd purchases its noni juice from Tahiti Products Inc, which purchases the same product from the same processing and supply facility as GDI nv, which received approval to market its product in 2004.

Following an initial public consultation period, the Agency, the UK Competent Authority for all novel food issues, decided that the noni juice which Noni de Tahiti Ltd intends to market meets the criteria for equivalence as defined in Article 3(4) of Regulation (EC) 258/97. A copy of the letter informing the applicant of this decision can be found below.