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Originally published January 14 2010

Upside-Down Tree Now Available to European Citizens as Regulators Clear Baobab Fruit

by Marek Doyle

(NaturalNews) A cherished African food has been cleared for sale in the European Union, as the central regulators decided to remove the restriction on the sale of baobab fruit. Although it may seem illogical that the importing and sale of a healthy fruit was not previously allowed, baobab previously fell victim to the EU Novel Foods Regulation (EC258/97), which bans the sale of so-called `novel foods`. Although the fruit has been consumed across Southern Africa for centuries, the dried pulp of the fruit was only cleared for import in 2008; only now has the restriction on the whole fruit been lifted.

"The availability of baobab is timely with attention on South Africa with the World Cup taking place," said Gus Le Breton, chief executive of PhytoTrade Africa, the not-for-profit trade association which is the only approved baobab pulp supplier in Europe. "Consumers can now get hold of it directly for the first time and we expect food manufacturers to roll out their own baobab lines, from smoothies to cereal bars and confectionery as they take advantage of the booming market in healthy foods."

The coconut-sized fruit is reported to have three times the Vitamin C content of oranges and twice the calcium concentration of cow`s milk, and has gained the interest of several health food manufacturers. The taste is said to be a cross between pears and grapefruits.

The baobab fruit was not the first natural product to fall victim to the Novel Foods Regulations and it is unlikely to be the last. Although initially introduced to protect the public from genetically modified food products, recent years have seen many occasions where the legislation has been used to stifle the distribution of natural products. The legislation was used in 2009 to controversially prosecute Asphalia Food Products Ltd, a small Welsh company, who included ryegrass in a sleeping product; in this instance, the European Commission ruled that the specific genus of ryegrass used had not been `widely consumed` before 1997 and required extensive and expensive safety tests before being made available for sale.

Members of the public can expect to see a range of baobab products available within the next few months which, if the promotion of various `superfoods` is anything to go by, will no doubt be heralded by the marketing departments of many food companies.


About the author

Marek Doyle is a London personal trainer, nutritionist and the pioneer of the Combined Allergy Test, with locations serving Kensington, Chelsea, West London and Basingstoke. Marek runs Blueprint Fitness, edits theAdrenal Fatigue Focus website and has been recognised as one of the top three trainers in the country and counts world champion athletes, models and TV celebrities amongst his clientele.

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