Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has announced a public consultation for an application to amend the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code to permit the use of cultured quail cells as a novel food. The cultured quail is the first cell-based food application to be assessed in Australia and New Zealand.

The application is from the firm Vow Group Pty. Ltd., which is seeking approval to allow the use of cultured quail cells originating from quail as an ingredient in food products.  

The call for comment seeks views on FSANZ’s risk assessment of the food, which focused on the first three stages of cell-based food production: cell line, method of production, and cell harvest. The assessment found the cultured quail cell line is genetically stable and microbiological risks with cell line sourcing and harvest are very low. FSANZ also found no toxicological, nutritional safety, or food allergenicity concerns associated with the consumption of the cultured quail cells.   

FSANZ looked at the labeling requirements for this product including undertaking research into consumer perceptions of cell-based food and associated terminology. The first call for submissions proposes the term “cell-cultured” be used in labeling of the product.

FSANZ is assessing this application under its Major Procedure which requires two rounds of public consultation. Following consideration of submissions to this first call for submissions, any proposed measure to amend the Code will be released for public consultation through a second call in 2024.   

Interested parties can submit comments through “A1269 Cultured Quail as a Novel Food” consultation on the FSANZ Consultation Hub by 6 P.M. AEST on February 5, 2024.