AIJN - European Fruit Juice Association

Key EU legislation

Novel Food

What is novel food ?

Novel food is defined as food that has not been consumed to any significant degree in the EU before May 1997 (when the first novel food legislation entered into force). This can be newly developed, innovative food or food produced using new technologies and production processes as well as food traditionally eaten outside of the EU e.g.: fruits, vegetables, juices, insects.

A Novel Food Catalogue has been developed, listing products of plant and animal origin and other substances.

What is the current legislation regarding novel food?

As of 1 January 2018, the new Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 on novel foods is applicable.

It repeals and replaces Regulation (EC) No 258/97 and Regulation (EC) No 1852/2001. 

What are the main changes?

Under the new regulation, novel food is a subject to a simpler, clearer and more efficient authorisation procedure fully centralised at EU level.

The novel food regulation aims to improve conditions so that businesses can more easily bring new and innovative food to the EU market, while still maintaining a high level of food safety for European consumers. It will offer European consumers the benefit of a broader choice of food.

What are the conditions for authorisation ?

Food business operators, before placing a novel food on the EU market, must first submit to the Commission an online application for authorisation.

Only after the Commission has processed an application and has adopted an implementing act authorising the placing on the market of a novel food and updating the Union list, a novel food can be placed on the EU market.