Safety of dried coffee husk (cascara) from Coffea arabica L. as a Novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283

EFSA J. 2022 Feb 25;20(2):e07185. doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2022.7085. eCollection 2022 Feb.

Abstract

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 dried coffee husk (cascara) from Coffea arabica L. as a novel food (NF) pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. The NF comprises the skin (exocarp), pulp (mesocarp), mucilage (pectin), parchment (endocarp) and a portion of the silver skin of the coffee fruit, and consists mainly of digestible carbohydrates, dietary fibre and water. The Panel considers that there are no safety concerns regarding the stability of the NF if the NF complies with the proposed specification limits during its entire shelf-life. The NF as such will not be consumed, instead, beverages produced with the infusion of the NF in water will be available to consumers. Considering an 100% extraction of caffeine from the NF to the beverage, the specification limit set for caffeine and the proposed use levels, the maximum concentration of caffeine in infusions produced using the NF could be up to 600 mg/L of drink, a concentration comparable to those in coffee beverages. The Panel notes that consumption of beverages produced using the NF will add significantly to the total dietary intake of caffeine of the general population. The consumption of beverages containing caffeine is not recommended for children, pregnant or breast-feeding women if the caffeine content exceeds 150 mg/L. Taking into account the nature of the NF, the history of use of the NF as food and the proposed uses and use levels, the Panel considers that no toxicological studies are required on the NF. The risk of allergic reactions to the NF is considered low. The Panel concludes that the NF, dried husk of the fruit of Coffea arabica L., is safe under the proposed conditions of use.

Keywords: Coffea arabica L. coffee husk; Novel Foods; caffeine; cascara; food safety.