Navigating Food Regulation in the EU: Novel and Non-Novel Foods

Esslingen / Berlin – 29.05.2024

As per EU regulations we conclude that:  

  • Clear Distinctions: The EU rigorously differentiates between novel and non-novel foods, ensuring consumer safety and informed choices through comprehensive legislation. 
  • Brewer’s Yeast Advantage: Products derived from brewer’s yeast, like our own products, are classified as non-novel foods due to their long history of safe consumption in the EU. 
  • Safety and Sustainability: Our brewer’s yeast-derived products offer nutritional benefits, enhanced safety through established use, and promote sustainability by utilizing brewing industry by-products. 

The European Union (EU) has established a rigorous regulatory framework to ensure that all food products on the market are safe for consumption and clearly labeled. Understanding the intricacies of these regulations is crucial for consumers and businesses alike. Therefore, this blog post delves into the EU’s food regulation, focusing specifically on the distinctions between novel and non-novel foods.  

Understanding EU Food Regulation 

EU food regulation aims to protect consumer health and ensure food safety across all member states. This is achieved through comprehensive legislation and standards governing every aspect of food production, distribution, and labeling. The primary legal frameworks include: 

  1. General Food Law Regulation (EC) No 178/2002: This regulation establishes the general principles and requirements of food law in the EU, including the creation of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and procedures for food safety and traceability. 
  2. Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 on Novel Foods: This regulation specifically addresses novel foods, setting out the process for their authorization and placing on the market within the EU. 
  3. Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs: This sets out the general hygiene requirements for all food businesses. 
  4. Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers: This regulation focuses on food labeling requirements, ensuring that consumers have access to complete and accurate information about the food they purchase. 
Novel Foods: What Are They? 

For example, novel foods include exotic fruits, algae-based products, synthetic food products but also new alternatives such as mycelium. Novel foods are defined by the EU as foods that were not significantly consumed by humans in the EU before May 15, 1997. This category can include newly developed foods, foods produced using new technologies and production processes, and foods traditionally consumed outside the EU.  

Under Regulation (EU) 2015/2283, novel foods must undergo a safety assessment by EFSA before they can be marketed. This assessment examines various factors, including the food’s composition, nutritional value, potential for toxic effects, and the level of microbiological and chemical contaminants.  

Non-Novel Foods: A Familiar Territory 

This category includes traditional foods and ingredients familiar to European consumers, such as common fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. Non-novel foods, by contrast, have a well-documented history of safe consumption within the EU. In other words, these foods do not require the same level of scrutiny as novel foods.  

Why are our products non-novel food? 

Products derived from brewer’s yeast, for instance our own Prew:tein, Prew:taste, and Prew:fat, fall into the category of non-novel foods. Brewer’s yeast has been used for centuries in the brewing industry and as a dietary supplement, indicating a long history of safe consumption in the EU. This established history means that products derived from brewer’s yeast do not require the novel food approval process. 

  • Rich in protein, Prew:tein offers nutritional benefits due to its high content of essential amino acids and vitamins.  
  • Prew:fat is astable protein-fat emulsion derived from Prew:tein, providing a healthier alternative to traditional fats with similar textures and mouthfeel. 
  • Prew:taste enhances the flavor profile of various foods, adding umami and other savory notes derived naturally from brewer’s yeast. 
Benefits of Brewer’s Yeast-Derived Products 
  • Safety and Trust: Their non-novel status expedites market entry while ensuring safety through their established history of use. 
  • Nutritional Advantages: Brewer’s yeast is nutritionally rich, making these products beneficial for consumers seeking to enhance their dietary intake. 
  • Sustainability: Utilizing by-products of the brewing industry promotes sustainability and reduces waste. 

In conclusion, understanding the distinction between novel and non-novel foods is crucial for navigating food regulation in the EU landscape. The regulatory framework ensures that all new food products meet stringent safety standards. Products derived from brewer’s yeast, such as our products, benefit from their non-novel status, offering safe, nutritious, and sustainable options for consumers. As the food industry continues to innovate, these regulations play a vital role in protecting public health and fostering consumer confidence.  

Curious to learn more about your food? Take a look at the Novel Food Catalogue from EU  

If you are interested in trying our products, we invite you to fill in this company form and our team will get in touch with you soon.   

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