Safety of oil from Schizochytrium limacinum (strain TKD-1) for use in infant and follow-on formula as a novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283

EFSA J. 2023 Dec 6;21(12):e8414. doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2023.8414. eCollection 2023 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 the safety of Schizochytrium sp. (TKD-1) oil as a novel food (NF) pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. Schizochytrium sp. is a single-cell microalga. The strain TKD-1, used by the applicant (ATK Biotech Co. Ltd.), belongs to the species Schizochytrium limacinum. The NF is a mixture of triglycerides in which docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) represents 53%-61% of fatty acids. The applicant proposed to use the NF in infant formulae (IF) and follow-on formulae (FOF). The use levels proposed by the applicant were derived from Regulation (EU) 2016/127, which states the mandatory addition of DHA to IF and FOF at the level of 20-50 mg/100 kcal. S. limacinum was attributed the qualified presumption of safety (QPS) status with the qualification 'for production purposes only'. Data provided by the applicant demonstrated the absence of viable cells in the NF. No toxicological studies were performed with the NF. However, based on the available toxicological data on oils derived from Schizochytrium sp., the QPS status of the source of the NF, the production process, the composition of the NF and the absence of marine biotoxins and viable cells in the NF, the Panel considers there are no concerns with regard to toxicity of the NF. The Panel concludes that the NF is safe under the proposed conditions of use.

Keywords: Schizochytrium; alga; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); fatty acid; infants and young children; novel foods; safety.