Help Export PDF Print this page 

Document 32015R2283

Title and reference
New (novel) foods — rules from 2018

Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.
Multilingual display
  • Date of last review: 03/08/2016
  • Initial creation date: 03/08/2016
Summarized and linked documents
Miscellaneous information
  • Author: Publications Office

New (novel) foods — rules from 2018



Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 on novel foods


  • It lays down rules for the placing of novel foods* on the market in the European Union (EU). These are designed to provide a high level of protection for human health and consumers’ interest.


  • Food business operators must determine whether the product they wish to place on the market is covered by the legislation. If they are unsure:
    • they may consult the national authorities of the market concerned by providing all the necessary information;
    • those national authorities may consult colleagues in other EU countries and the European Commission.
  • The Commission must establish a positive list of authorised novel foods by 1 January 2018 and update it regularly.
  • An authorised product must not:
    • pose a risk to human health, on the basis of scientific evidence;
    • mislead consumers, especially when it is intended to replace another food and there is a significant change in nutritional value;
    • be nutritionally disadvantageous when replacing another food under normal consumption.
  • The authorisation procedure for the placing of a novel food on the market can be triggered either by an applicant (EU country, a non-EU country or an interested party) or by the Commission.
  • The application must include details, such as the name and description of the novel food, its detailed composition, production processes and scientific evidence, confirming that it does not pose any danger to human health.
  • The Commission may ask the European Food Safety Authority to give its opinion on the safety of the novel food.
  • The Commission presents its final opinion on whether to authorise a novel food to the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed. Its endorsement is necessary before the new product can be added to the positive list.
  • Specific rules apply to traditional foods from non-EU countries which their food business operators or importers wish to sell in the EU.
  • The legislation does not apply to:
    • genetically modified foods covered by Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;
    • foods used as enzymes, additives and flavourings covered by Regulations (EC) Nos 1332/2008, 1333/2008, 1334/2008;
    • extraction solvents within the scope of Directive 2009/32/EC.


It applies from 1 January 2018. Certain acts are to be adopted by the European Commission such as:

  • consultation procedures for determining novel food status;
  • the drawing up of the list of authorised or notified novel foods;
  • requirements for novel food applications and for traditional foods from non-EU countries; and
  • the definition of engineered nanomaterial.


For more information, see:


Novel food: food not used for human consumption to a significant degree in the EU before 15 May 1997. This covers a wide range of products, such as food with a new or intentionally modified molecular structure, food using a new food production process (bread treated with UV-light to increase vitamin D content) or produced from microorganisms, fungi or algae (e.g. the use of the micro-algae Schizochytrium sp in foods such as cereal bars, cooking fats, etc. as an alternative source of Docosahexaenoic acid).


Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on novel foods, amending Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Regulation (EC) No 258/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1852/2001 (OJ L 327, 11.12.2015, pp. 1-22)

last update 04.10.2016