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UK’s Novel Food Panel Looks at Shrimp Oil Safety

Oil produced from shrimp could soon be used as an ingredient in food supplement products in Europe.

But since the oil is a new and novel food ingredient with no significant history of consumption in the European Union before May 15, 1997, the product, to be known by the trade name CalanusĀ® Oil, must go through the United Kingdom’s Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).

An arm of the Food Standards Agency, the ACNFP is taking public comments on the CalanusĀ® oil application until March 1, 2012 at acnfp@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk. Comments are considered by the committee during its assessment of the novel food ingredient.

Calanus AS of Norway is the applicant. It plans to market the oil taken from the miniature shrimp Calanus finmarchicus, one of the most common zooplankton found in the North Atlantic Ocean. The shrimp produce large lipid stores primarily in the form of wax esters or triglycerides.

Before any novel food can be introduced in the European market, it must undergo a rigorous safety assessment. The current application was filed in November 2011.

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