Novel food status for isomalto-oligosaccharide granted in Australia and New Zealand

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The ingredient will be used in sports and energy products. ©iStock
The ingredient will be used in sports and energy products. ©iStock

Related tags Nutrition

Regulators in Australia and New Zealand have permitted isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO) as a novel food for use in a range of food and beverages, including sports nutrition and meal replacement products. 

Contract manufacturer Essence Group Pty Ltd has applied to market IMO in a number of food categories, including carbonated beverages, sports and energy drinks, soy milk, milk-based drinks, milk- and non-milk-based meal replacement drinks, fruit juices, fruit-flavoured drinks, meal replacement bars, breakfast bars, and confectionery at levels up to 15g IMO/serving.

The firm stated that IMO is not intended to be added to foods for infants or supplementary formulated foods for young children.

Officials at Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approved IMO as a novel food last week.

Their judgement stated: In addition, a limit per serving, as proposed by the Applicant, is not considered necessary to manage potential risk. Generic labelling requirements will provide consumers with information about the presence of IMO in food to enable informed choice."

Fermented foods

“FSANZ also considered the need for a mandatory advisory labelling statement about possible laxative effects and determined, based on the risk assessment conclusions, that such a requirement was not warranted.”

IMO is manufactured from starch and contains a mixture of short-chain carbohydrates, including both digestible and non-digestible saccharides.

As well as commercial manufacture, IMO occurs naturally in fermented foods such as rice, miso, soy sauce, and sake.

It has already been approved in a number of overseas jurisdictions, including the USA, Canada and Europe.

Essence Group says it is the leading specialised protein powder manufacturer in Australia, and also offers tableting, blending, and packing facilities to clients in the health and nutraceutical industries.

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