Novel Food Approval: EU Approves Rooster Comb Extract (RCE)
Rupika Malhotra, MSc
Regulatory Associate, Dicentra
In recent years, several novel and arguably eccentric food ingredients have made their way into the food and natural health product markets worldwide for their various health promoting benefits. One such product on the fore front of entering the European market is rooster comb extract (RCE).
Traditionally used in Spanish dishes, RCE is being added to food consumed on a daily basis throughout Europe, by Biobercia, a Spanish company. Milks, yogurts, dairy based beverages and fromage frais enriched with RCE will be marketed to adults: mainly athletes, the elderly and menopausal women with health claims of maintenance of joint health. Proposed to aid in joint lubrication and cushioning through elevated levels of sodium hyaluronates (SH) at up to 60% to 80%, dairy products enriched with RCE are close to novel food approval by the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP). Extracted from the large fleshy red skin on top of the cockerl’s head, RCE is also shown to contain glycosaminoglycan (approx. 20%) and partially hydrolyzed proteins (approx 20%).
Comments on the draft opinions have recently been taken into consideration. In the final stages of approval of the ingredient into the food and supplement market all safety concerns have been dismissed. As such, the ACNFP stresses that the approval as a novel food is based solely on the safety of the use of such an ingredient, and not yet the possible health claims associated with it.
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