Safety of yellow/orange tomato extract as a novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283

EFSA J. 2023 May 17;21(5):e07994. doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2023.7994. eCollection 2023 May.


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 yellow/orange tomato extract used as a novel food (NF) pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2283/2015. The NF which is the subject of the application is a carotenoid-rich extract from the yellow/orange tomato containing predominantly phytoene and phytofluene, as well as a lesser amount of beta-carotene, zeta-carotene and lycopene. The NF is produced from the tomato pulp using supercritical CO2 extraction. The applicant proposes the use of the NF in cereal bars, functional drinks and as a food supplement in individuals above 15 years of age. For the use of the NF in cereal bars and functional drinks, the Panel considers, the target population is the general population. According to EFSA's latest exposure assessment for lycopene as a food additive (EFSA ANS Panel, 2017), the highest P95 intakes for children (< 10 and 10-17 years) and adults when combined to the use of lycopene as a food colour from natural occurrence would exceed the established acceptable daily intake (ADI) for lycopene (0.5 mg/kg body weight (bw) day). The estimated intakes of the NF would lead to an exceedance of the ADI when considering natural occurrence and exposure to lycopene when used as a food additive. Due to the absence of safety data regarding phytoene and phytofluene intake from the NF, and the contribution of the NF to the estimated high daily intakes of lycopene, the Panel considers that it cannot be established whether or not the consumption of the NF is nutritionally disadvantageous. The Panel concludes that the safety of the NF has not been established under the proposed conditions of use.

Keywords: carotenoids; food supplement; lycopene; novel foods; phytoene; phytofluene; yellow and orange tomato extract.