Safety of hot water extract of fruits and peduncles of Hovenia dulcis as a novel food pursuant to Regulation 1(EU) 2015/2283

Hovenia dulcis, hot water extract, novel food, ingredient, flavonoids
First published in the EFSA Journal
28 Agosto 2020
30 Junio 2020
Scientific Opinion


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 ‘Hovenia dulcis fruit extract’ as a novel food (NF) for its use in food supplements. The NF concerns a hot water extract of sliced and dried fruits and peduncles of Hovenia dulcis Thun. The production process is described in sufficient detail but contains contradictory information regarding the mixing with another ingredient of the NF. The NF is comprised of mostly carbohydrates (about 90%), about 2% proteins, 5% moisture, less than 1% fat and about 2% ash. In addition, the NF contains small amounts of flavonoids such as dihydromyricetin, myricetin and quercetin. The Panel notes limitations of the data provided from the batch testing regarding proximate analyses and plant secondary metabolites. Given these limitations, the Panel considers that the data provided by the applicant do not demonstrate that different batches produced with the described production process meet the proposed specifications. The target population is the general adult population excluding pregnant and lactating women and people with a chronic disease, such as liver malfunction. Limited information was provided on a history of consumption of Hovenia dulcis fruits and on an extract approved in South Korea. A number of toxicological studies were performed. However, the study reports did not allow to verify that the test item was representative of the NF. The same applied to a human study provided by the applicant. The Panel concludes that the safety of the NF has not been established.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Dominique Turck, Jacqueline Castenmiller, Stefaan De Henauw, Karen Ildico Hirsch‐Ernst, John Kearney, Helle Katrine Knutsen, Alexandre Maciuk, Inge Mangelsdorf, Harry J McArdle, Androniki Naska, Carmen Pelaez, Kristina Pentieva, Alfonso Siani, Frank Thies, Sophia Tsabouri and Marco Vinceti.
Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens
nda [at]
EFSA Journal 2020;18(8):6196
Question Number
On request from
European Commission following an application by Hovenia Dulcis AB