Novel Food Regulation (in place 1 January 2018)

On 1 January 2018, Regulation EU 2015/2283 on Novel Food entered into application. This is replacing the rules adopted in 1997. This new regulation will introduce a simpler, clearer and more efficient authorization procedure, centralized at EU level. This should enable safe and innovative food to be placed on the European market faster. From now on, applications will be assessed centrally by the European Commission with the help of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). This new regulation clarifies that whole animals, such as whole insects (if not consumed to a significant degree in 1997) fall under the definition of Novel Food. Parts of insects (legs, wings) are also considered as Novel Food. So all insect-foods need to be authorized before being sold on the EU Market. However, because in some countries insect products are already ‘lawfully placed on the market’ certain transitional measures apply. This makes it possible for insect-foods to continue being sold until the 2nd of January 2020. An application for authorization of insect foods needs to have been submitted before this date in order for food operators to continue selling insect-foods. For more information about Novel food:

Novel Food Dossier of Protifarm & the Buffalo

In accordance with the new EU legislation on ‘novel foods’ (i.e. Regulation (EU) 2015/2283) Protifarm has applied an application for the buffalo (Alphitobius diaperinus) within the European Union. For that purpose, the company has drawn up a scientific dossier which contains comprehensive information & data demonstrating the safety of the buffalo for use as food (i.e. for use as final product or as an ingredient). Pending the final validation of this application by the European authorities (i.e. the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority & the EU Member States) whole parts of buffalo and its preparations can continue to be placed on the market. Protifarm has submitted it’s Novel Food Application for the buffalo mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus). Please find more information:

Client products in the novel food dossier of Protifarm

The EU legislation on ‘novel food’ (i.e. Regulation 2015/2283) does not specifically address if final products should be included in the application for a novel food dossier. A novel food dossier shall cover the ‘novel’ ingredient (e.g. in the case of Protifarm, the buffalo and defatted insect powder) and not the final product which will be composed of the novel food (e.g. a burger or other food product composed of the buffalo larvae as ingredient). However, information on the future use of the ‘novel food ingredient’ is preferred for evaluation of its dietary and nutritional significance and to carry on the risk characterization (by EFSA). The EFSA guidance document from November 2016 refers specifically to this question in chapter 2.7. (page 16): As mentioned in 2.7.2, the applicant should notably specify the followings:

  • The form of uses (e.g. as whole or ingredient)
  •  The food category in which the food is proposed for use
  • The maximum amounts in products as consumed