The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been involved in the risk assessment of novel foods since 2003. The implementation of the current novel food regulation in 2018 rendered EFSA the sole entity of the European Union responsible for such safety evaluations. The risk assessment is based on the data submitted by applicants in line with the scientific requirements described in the respective EFSA guidance document.
The present work aims to elaborate on the rationale behind the scientific questions raised during the risk assessment of novel foods, with a focus on complex mixtures and whole foods. Novel foods received by EFSA in 2003-2019 were screened and clustered by nature and complexity. The requests for additional or supplementary information raised by EFSA during all risk assessments were analyzed for identifying reoccurring issues.