Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes
FRUITRIM - fat replacer
25 September 1998
Ms Joyce Bell
306 Archway Road
London N6 5AY
Dear Ms Bell
FRUITRIM - fat replacer
As previously agreed, I am writing to advise you of
the opinion of the UK novel foods competent authority with regard to the status of
FRUITRIM. I apologise for the delay in this response.
From the information you originally provided it was not clear whether
FRUITRIM would fall under the scope of the Novel Foods
Regulation. This is because the intended use of the product as an ingredient to replace
solid and liquid fats is novel in that a fruit juice/starch product is to be used to
replace fat. In addition, the process used to manufacture this product (which involves the
reduction of the water contents of the components) is patented and thus different in some
way from conventional technologies.
Also, launching a product in April 1997 (i.e. a month prior to the
implementation of the Novel Foods Regulation) would not be likely to constitute a history
of use in the EU before 15 May 1997 (although it would be for the Commission to give the
definitive opinion on this).
However, in several fax messages, you provided some additional
information and emphasised that after extensive discussions with the manufacturer, you do
not consider that FRUITRIM falls within the scope of the
Novel Foods Regulation for a number of reasons:
(a) FRUITRIM is a simple mixture of two
components, both of which are regarded as food ingredients in Europe and can be readily
obtained from commercial sources. They are consumed throughout Europe and pose no danger
to consumer health;
(b) Although the manufacturing process and ingredients of FRUITRIM are unique enough to warrant protection under US patent law, such
protection does not make the product novel for food regulation purposes; and
(c) The manufacturing process involves the reduction of the water
contents of the ingredients to a minimum of 77% soluble solids, which is not itself a
novel technology, and there is no reason to believe that this process would alter the
chemical or nutritional properties of the ingredients.
Having carefully considered all the information provided I can confirm
that, in the opinion of the UK competent authority, FRUITRIM would not be regarded as a novel food.
As discussed, this letter will be copied to the Commission in order
that other Member States can be informed.
Finally, I would like to remind you that all foods are subject to the
requirements of the Food Safety Act 1990.
Miss Tracy Boshier
Additives and Novel Foods Division, Branch 'C'
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