FSA UK – Views wanted on sporopollenin shells as novel food

A UK company has applied to the Food Standards Agency for approval to market sporopollenin shells from a type of plant known as clubmoss Lycopodium clavatum, as a novel food ingredient. Views are wanted on the independent experts’ draft opinion.

The company, Sporomex Ltd, plans to market sporopollenin shells as a novel food ingredient to be included in this range of foods:

  • food supplements
  • bakery products
  • breakfast cereals
  • dairy products and dairy substitutes
  • foods for special medical purposes
  • foods for use in energy-restricted diets for weight reduction
  • foods for particular nutritional uses (‘PARNUTs’, as defined in Directive 2009/39/EC’)

Sporopollenin shells are produced by emptying spores from Lycopodium clavatum of their genetic, lipid and protein material to leave an empty sporopollenin shell. The applicant’s intention is to fill the empty shell with functional ingredients such as fish oils or vitamins. The applicant states that sporopollenin shells will therefore function as a system to deliver functional ingredients more effectively into the body.

The novel ingredient plus its contents make a powder which could be incorporated into food or drink by the consumer or manufacturer.

Deadline for comments: 10th May 2014.

(Source: FSA website)