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September 28, 2023

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is advising businesses to avoid selling and purchasing tara protein powder (tara flour), or products containing this ingredient.

Tara protein powder, also known as tara flour, could be classified as a novel food (or novel food ingredient), but has not been assessed for safety by Health Canada.

Novel foods are food products that are new, which means they have no history of safe use as a food, or are changed compared to existing foods. The Food and Drug Regulations prohibit the sale of novel foods unless they have undergone a mandatory pre-market safety assessment and Health Canada has determined that they are safe for consumption.

Tara protein powder is not tara gum, which is an approved food additive in Canada under specific conditions of use.

Obligations of food businesses

All food businesses are responsible for ensuring their products meet Canadian federal regulations and can be subject to compliance action by the CFIA. See Heath Canada’s Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Novel Foods.

Division 28 of Part B of the Food and Drug Regulations requires a manufacturer or importer to notify Health Canada’s Food Directorate in writing of their intention to sell or advertise for sale a novel food. It should be noted that in accordance with subsection B.28.002(1) no person shall sell or advertise for sale a novel food unless the manufacturer or importer of the novel food has:

  • notified the Health Minister (Food Directorate) of their intention to sell or advertise for sale the novel food; and
  • received a written notice indicating no objection to the sale of the novel food in Canada as stated in B.28.002(1)(b)

It is recommended that manufacturers or importers consult with Health Canada’s Food Directorate if they are not sure if a product is a novel food or not, or if they would like to discuss specific requirements for a novel food.

For questions related novel food determination and requirements, please contact Health Canada’s Food Directorate at:

Submission Management and Information Unit
Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada
251, Sir Frederick Banting Driveway, Postal Locator: 2202E
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9

Additional Information