The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is considering an application to market a new bakery ingredient, from by Canadian firm BioNeutra.

The FSA’s expert Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) is looking for views on the product, called Isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO), which the ingredients supplier is looking to market in Europe as a novel carbohydrate that can be used in bakery goods, cereal bars and confectionery.

BioNeutra currently markets a product called VitaFiber on its Canadian website, believed to be the same as IMO, promoting it as “a sweet natural fibre providing low calorie and soluble prebiotic fibre for human digestive health”. It added that the product is non-GMO, sugar-free and gluten-free, as well as being available in syrup and powder formats.

In the application to the ACNFP, it says that the product has been produced in Asia for the past 15-20 years and is used in a variety of food applications. Its most current use is as a health food ingredient in countries such as Japan, China and South Korea.

The firm also states that IMO occurs naturally in a number of fermented foods, including rice miso, soy sauce and sake.

Comments on this draft opinion should be sent to the ACNFP Secretariat at by Thursday 18 October. These will be passed to the Committee before it adopts its final opinion on the novel food ingredient.