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In this section we gather some simple and useful answers to questions that the modern consumer frequently asks himself when encountering special foods, products from organic agriculture and novel foods.

I. What do we mean by organic product?

Organic farming consumer goods or raw materials are obtained by cultivation and/or farming methods that allow the sole use of substances already present in nature excluding substances of chemical synthesis like weedkillers and/or insecticides. This type of agriculture is defined in terms of legislation at Community level by Reg. EC 834/07 and EC 889/08 and at national level by the M.D. 18354/09.

II. How to read the label of an organic product?

Once you decide to buy a certified organic product we recommend making sure the label contains all mandatory wording required by law. The national logo must be combined with the “ORGANIC FARMING” trademark text and with a 16 digit alphanumeric code indicating the Country where the company is located, the inspection body, the registration number and whether it is a manufacturing or processing firm. 

This attentive labelling mode guarantees the quality of the organically grown product, since it enables at any time to trace back both the manufacturer and the inspecting body that issued the certification.

 III. What does Gluten-Free mean?

The term refers to products without gluten suitable for people affected by celiac disease.

Celiac disease affects the small intestine, damaging the flattened villi- essential for the absorption of food nutrients. In most cases symptoms present themselves in infancy, but nowadays the pathologic outbreak is more and more frequent in people of older age.

 IV. What does INCI on a cosmetic product stand for?

The acronym INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is internationally used and aims to identify the ingredients of a cosmetic product.

Similarly to food, also in cosmetics it is advisable to pay attention to the order labeled ingredients are listed in, which is descending in concentration.

The nomenclature “CI” followed by a 5 digit numeric series reveals the presence of artificial coloring used within the product.

The open-jar icon, that is the PAO symbol (Period After Opening), indicates for how many months an open product can be used in complete safety. This logo is used at Community level on all primary containers.

V. What is the meaning of Novel Food?

Novel Food is a term identifying new types of food or novel food ingredients regulated at European level under Reg. (EC) No 258/97. The rule is addressed to consumer protection, since it prevents the commercialization of products or food ingredients that lack a history of safe and “significant” consumption at Community level starting from 15 May 1997, date of entry into force of this regulation.

The foods that did not bring out defects or abnormalities are considered safe and marketable. The potential placing on the market of “novel foods” can be accomplished upon analysis and suitability assessment made by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and following publication in the Official Journal.