Noni juice: PINA

7 May 2004: Application from Pacific Islands Noni Association (PINA) for an opinion on the equivalence of noni juice (from the fruits of <i>Morinda citrifolia</i> L), grown in various Pacific Islands. Awaiting notification.

Following an initial public consultation period and the discussion of this application at the 27 May and 22 July 2004 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Novel Food and Processes (ACNFP), the UK Competent Authority was content that this noni juice meets the criteria for equivalence as defined in Article 3(4) of Regulation (EC) 258/97. Details of the opinion can be accessed below.

About noni juice
Noni juice comes from the fruit commonly known as 'noni'. But it's 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.

PINA wish to market a product that has been matured for 8-10 weeks in sealed containers before pasteurisation. This is to mellow the flavour and colour of the final fruit juice.

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 and 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 Commission.

In all cases to date, the Commission has required that the applicant first obtain an opinion on equivalence from a Member State. PINA requested such an opinion from the UK.

This version does not contain commercially confidential information.