D-Tagatose is a sugar, with a similar structure to fructose, and is naturally present in heat-treated dairy products.
The applicant proposed to market D-Tagatose as a novel food ingredient in the EU in a variety of products, including selected varieties of baked goods, beverages, confectionery and ready-to-eat cereals. It is slightly less sweet than table sugar and provides less energy.
Approval was 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 period and the discussion of this application by the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) at its 30 March and 19 May 2005 meetings, and by post, the UK Competent Authority formulated an initial opinion on this novel food ingredient.
The UK's initial opinion was forwarded by the European Commission to Member States for a 60-day period to comment or provide reasoned objections. As no objections were received during this period, on 14 December 2005 the Agency wrote to the applicant, informing them that D-Tagatose may now be marketed in the EU.