Baobab dried fruit pulp. EC No. 72

PhytoTrade Africa's application to approve baobab dried fruit pulp as a novel food ingredient. Authorised July 2008

Background

Baobab dried fruit pulp is derived from the fruits of the Baobab tree (Adansonia digitata), also known as the 'upside down tree'. On pollination by fruit bats, this tree produces large green or brownish fruits. The baobab tree is found primarily in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The applicant proposes to market a baobab dried fruit pulp as a novel food ingredient for use in a range of food products namely smoothies, cereal bars and other similar food products. The level of baobab dried fruit pulp in this product will be between 5 and 15%.

The applicant also intends to market a de-pectinated baobab fruit pulp as a novel food ingredient for use in other food products such as biscuits, confectionery, and other related food products. Approval is sought under Novel Foods Regulation (EC) No. 258/97. 

Legal Background

Before a novel food can be marketed legally in the 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 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 Prior to 1st of Jan 2018

Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market, it must be rigorously assessed for safety. In the UK, the assessment of novel foods is carried out by an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).

Following an initial public consultation on the application and the discussion of this application by the ACNFP at its meetings between September 2006 and May 2007, the Committee has formulated a positive initial opinion on this baobab fruit pulp. In July 2008 Phyto trade Africa was granted authorisation to market Baobab dried fruit pulp in the EU by Commission Decision 2008/575/EC.