BlackGrain from Yellow Fields

BlackGrain from Yellow Fields, a new rapeseed-based ingredient developed by Avena Nordic Grain Plc, part of the Apetit Plc Group, has received novel food authorisation from the European Commission. BlackGrain from Yellow Fields is a plant protein and fibre powder, with great nutritional values and versatile product applications.

”Receiving the novel food authorisation for BlackGrain is a seal to several years of product development. It also gives us affirmation to continue our work in developing new rapeseed-based ingredients”, says Apetit’s CEO Esa Mäki.

After it had received a favourable opinion of risk assessment by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), the authorization steps were continued with a risk management by the European Commission in July 2020. During the waiting period for the authorisation, Apetit has already taken steps in further development of BlackGrain.

“We will invest in initiating small scale production, in order to be able to test BlackGrain on a larger scale with potential clients. Additionally, we will continue to evaluate the possibilities regarding the commercializing of the ingredient”, Mäki says.

Lengthy product development and application processes

In order to market a novel food product in the EU, the product must receive a novel food authorisation from the European Commission. The goal of this process is to ensure the food safety of all new products. Apetit started developing BlackGrain in 2017, and the novel food application was handed to the Commission at the end of 2018.

”The Commission asked the EFSA for an opinion on the rape seed ingredient’s safety in June 2019. The EFSA gave BlackGrain its favourable opinion in July 2020, and the application was handed back to the Commission. It was processed swiftly within the applicable legislative timeframe”, says R&D Manager Kaisu Riihinen, who’s in charge of the ingredient development.

BlackGrain is made using an existing raw material with excellent nutritional values: oil seed cakes, which include fiber, protein, good fats and a balanced composition of amino acids. Previously, oil seed cake has been processed into oil seed expellers and utilized as animal feed. Through development into partially defattened rapeseed powder suitable for human consumption, it becomes a value-added product.

”Utilizing oil seed expeller, produced during oil pressing, in human consumption cuts down the food chain, and is an action for responsible food choices”, Riihinen says.

BlackGrain from Yellow Fields is vegan, gluten-, GMO-, and soy-free – it is suitable for most diets. Dark in colour and mild in taste, it works well with grains, pea protein and starch.

”We are developing the current BlackGrain ingredient with a customer-oriented approach. We take our customers’ requirements into consideration and help them find the best way of benefitting from BlackGrain in their product”, Riihinen sums up.


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