Baobab dried fruit pulp. EC No. 72

August 2006: Application from PhytoTrade Africa to approve baobab dried fruit pulp as a novel food ingredient. Authorised July 2008

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.

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 Phytotrade Africa was granted authorisation to market Baobab dried fruit pulp in the EU by Commission Decision 2008/575/EC.