Noni juice: Natures Products Ltd

September 2004: Application from Natures Products Ltd for an opinion on the equivalence of noni juice (from the fruit of <i>Morinda citrifolia</i> L). Authorised November 2004.

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.

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. Natures Products requested such an opinion from the UK.

The basis of this request was that the applicant company is the sole supplier of Cook Island noni juice to a company who gained a positive opinion on equivalence from a Member State.

Following an initial public consultation period the Agency, the UK Competent Authority for all novel food issues, decided that Nature's Product Ltd's noni juice 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.