Some call them innovative. Others call them ‘Frankenfoods’. New product developers are contstantly looking for new ways to maximise nutritional value while minimising impact on the environment. These are the foods tipped for success

Cultivated meat

The strict rules that accompany novel food status have led some within the emerging cultivated meat sector to allege the EU and the UK (which follows the EU’s lead) will be way behind when it comes to getting its innovative cell-based meat products on shelf.

In March this year, the European Food Safety Authority released guidance on what it will require from cultivated meat companies.

Application requirements are rigorous and complete applications are likely to take up to 18 months, predict experts, with any reiteration likely to take a further six months on top.



Having previously been sold under standard food regulations, rising concerns around the varying quality of CBD and CBD-infused products led the ingredient to be reclassified as a novel food by the European Commission in January 2019.

It wasn’t until March 2021 that CBD manufacturers selling in the UK were required to have submitted the complex scientific dossiers required to gain authorisation.

Despite this lengthy lead time, only three brand names made it on to the first list of approved products in April this year.

Edible insects, CBD, lab-grown meat: why Brexit is great news for weird foods



The edible insect industry was celebrating this month after migratory locusts were deemed safe for human consumption as a novel food by EFSA for the first time.

The application, submitted by mealworm, cricket and locust breeder Fair Insects in 2018, has been hailed as a step forward in public acceptance of edible insects as a source of protein, following the approval of mealworms in January this year.

According to the company, locusts are an ‘excellent source of macronutrients’, with the potential to be used in everything from burgers to snacks and sweets.

Miracle Berries


In June, Spanish startup Baia Food secured novel foods status for its ‘dried miracle berries’ (DMB) in what it hopes is the first step toward a novel approach to sugar reduction.

The berries, grown and used in West Africa since the 18th century, can transform sour flavours into sweet. They were stumbled upon by friends and founders Loan Bensadon and Guillermo Milans del Bosch, before undergoing eight years in development to gain the green light from EFSA this year. The duo insist no other product on the market can alter perceptions of taste so effectively.



A class of compounds that act as cognitive enhancers, boosting memory and brain function, Nootropics are increasingly infused in food and drink products.

Classed as novel foods, there was disquiet in the industry last month amid speculation the EU would begin delegating decisions on authorisations for the ingredient to individual member states, rather than granting over-arching approval. It’s feared such a decision would affect the ability to export products across the bloc, and cost millions in lost sales if member states exercise discretion.

Edible insects, CBD, lab-grown meat: why Brexit is great news for weird foods