The next new “superfood”?
A new health food trend may be on the horizon. One of US Kellogg’s venture capital funds is investing big money into a company which produces food made with an ingredient dubbed by some as the next “superfood”.
The ingredient is ‘moringa’.
Moringa comes from the moringa plant and features in bars, powders and teas sold by Kuli Kuli, an American company which has just raised a US $4.25 million, with the funding led by Kellogg’s eighteen94 venture capital fund.
Moringa is usually in a grounded-down powder of the moringa plant’s leaves. People eat other parts of the moringa tree as well or use it for medicinal purposes.
A moringa-based product developed by the Kuli Kuli company is said to contain lots of different vitamins, minerals, amino acids, calcium and protein.
Fans of moringa link it with health benefits such as a claim about anti-inflammation properties, that it helps reduce some diabetes symptoms, and that it is a lactational enhancer.
Moringa not yet approved for sale as a food in Australia
Despite all the positive health benefit claims and Kellogg’s big American investment, moringa is currently not yet permitted to be sold as a food for human consumption in Australia.
It is classified as a novel food by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) meaning it is considered a “non-traditional food” that still requires assessment by FSANZ to decide whether it is safe to be sold as a food in Australia and New Zealand.
In the FSANZ committee ACNF’s record of views formed in response to inquiries, last updated October 2016, the ACNF classified moringa leaf as a non-traditional, novel food saying “safety is not established as a food”.
It has also said a powdered mix of moringa seed, leaf and fruit (seed pod) is to be classified as a non-traditional, novel food and FSANZ wrote “Safety not established – potential for adverse effects in humans”.
This means that application for approval as a novel food would still be needed, in order to change the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code to permit the usage of the substance as a food or food ingredient in Australia.
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