Safety of Wolffia globosa powder as a Novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283

EFSA J. 2021 Dec 22;19(12):e06938. doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6938. eCollection 2021 Dec.


Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on Wolffia globosa powder as a novel food (NF) pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. Wolffia globosa is an aquatic plant, one out of the 38 species of the water lentil family which is composed by five genera (i.e. Spirodela, Landoltia, Lemna, Wolffiella and Wolffia). The NF is produced by cultivation of Wolffia globosa plants under controlled conditions, washing with hot water and drying. The main constituents of the NF are protein, fibre and fat. The Panel notes that the concentration of trace elements and contaminants in the NF is highly dependent on the conditions of cultivation of the plant and the fertiliser composition. The NF is intended to be used as food ingredient in a variety of food categories and as food supplement. The target population is the general population except for food supplements which are intended to be consumed exclusively by adults. The Panel considers that with the exception of concerns related to the manganese intake, taking into account the composition of the NF and the proposed conditions of use, the consumption of the NF is not nutritionally disadvantageous. The subchronic toxicity study provided with the NF revealed a number of significant findings and the Panel considers the middle dose (6.5 g/kg body weight (bw) per day) as the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL). Based on the protein concentration, the Panel considers that the consumption of the NF may trigger allergic reactions. The Panel concluded that an increase in manganese intake from the NF used as food ingredient or food supplements is of safety concern and the safety of the NF cannot be established.

Keywords: Novel food; Wolffia globosa; duckweed; food supplement; isolated from plants; water lentil.