Along with consumer interest in wholesome foods and an awareness of healthy lifestyles, the benefits of botanicals and herbals have come back into the spotlight. The global market for botanical foods, drinks, and especially dietary supplements is exploding, as plant-based formulations deliver not only unique taste but also valuable health benefits. But the use of some botanicals may be in conflict with the definition of novel foods. As soon as an herbal substance falls under the Novel Food Regulation and no authorization has been granted, its use is prohibited.

Recently, there was a consultation of the Belgian authority on the Novel Food-status of 55 plants and their components. Evidence was sought that could support the status ‘not novel in food supplements’. For 34 of these plants the regulatory status is still unclear and they will be removed from the Belgian plant list if no information has been provided in the meantime to prove their novel food status. a&r is one of the leadings consultancies in natural health products and will keep you updated about the research results and the decision of the Belgian authority.