EU approves duckweed as novel food

Two aquatic plants cultivated and used as food in Southeast Asia have been approved as novel food in the EU.

The approval concerns the authorisation to market fresh plants of Wolffia arrhiza and Wolffia globosa as a new traditional food. The fresh plants can be marketed to and used by the general population.

It is the European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, which has approved the use of the plants, which have a history of safe food use, in particular in Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. The leaves of the plants are very tasty and nutritious.

The plants are strongly influenced by the environmental conditions of the waters where they are grown and may contain heavy metals, microcystins or certain levels of trace elements. Maximum levels for a number of substances in the plants must therefore be established in the EU list of authorised novel foods.

To learn more about approval of novel foods, please contact:

Helle Buchardt Boyd
Tel +45 4516 9097