Roadmap: Researchers publish recommendations for successful EU health food claims

4f5b860b-bf6f-4710-8fb4-50a849371852articleimage.jpg

14 Nov 2017 --- Researchers have developed recommendations to help food companies successfully substantiate new health claims in the EU. During this study, published in the highly regarded Trends in Food Science & Technology, researchers from the University of Surrey worked with investigators in Slovenia and Denmark as part of the REDICLAIM project. Together, they clarified the process of attaining approval for new health claims on food products.

A common framework for the use of health claims – any public association linking a food product to human wellbeing – was established by the European regulation. However, its implementation, despite providing legal certainty to the use of authorized health claims, was found to be too complex and arduous, which led to this in-depth investigation.

Examining past decisions, both favorable and unfavorable, by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and conducting interviews with specialists in the field, researchers identified a number of areas that those working in food and nutrition should consider when seeking to implement a new health claim.
 
The researchers' recommendations include:
  • Consider the EFSA's extensive guidance documents on the submission and substantiation of health claims.
  • Consider the EFSA's previous opinions, particularly those published since the last revision of specific guidance concerning the health outcome in question.
  • Consider the novelty of the food (constituent) and the science providing the evidence.
  • Consider the results of key EU-funded research projects dealing with health claims.
  • Evaluation time can be cut considerably if the health claim application (dossier) contains details of all pertinent data.
  • Data protection is possible when the scientific substantiation is primarily based on companies’ own data.
  • In the process of scientifically evaluating a health claim, the safety of a food (constituent) is not systematically assessed.
  • Assure that the food (constituent) can be sufficiently characterized.
  • A health claim's wording must reflect the scientific evidence and should be (where applicable) comparable with already authorized claims.
  • The claim should be clearly defined and relevant for human health.
  • For all claims other than those based on the essentiality of nutrients, the substantiation of a health claim should primarily be based on good-quality human efficacy studies.
  • The proposed conditions of use should reflect the conditions in which the studies used for substantiating the claim were conducted.
  • The application should provide the totality of the available scientific data.
  • Successful scientific substantiation of a health claim does not ensure that it will be authorized.
Monique Raats, Professor and Director of the Food, Consumer Behavior and Health Research Center at the University of Surrey, says: “Getting a successful food claim from the European Union is often a resource-intensive process, costing companies time and a lot of money, which means some have stopped trying to highlight the potential health benefits of their products.”
 
“Where health benefits of food are being communicated, it is important to ensure they are backed by appropriate evidence, and we have developed this evidence-based list of recommendations that will provide guidance on navigating the journey to secure successful health claims,” she adds.
 
“Recommendations should be seen as a starting point for researchers in the area of nutrition and food technology, and for those dealing with functional foods, particularly in the food industry,” says Dr. Igor Pravst of the Nutrition Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia. “Our proposals were prepared on the basis of an analysis of the EFSA’s Opinions and interviews with experts that were participating in preparing health claim dossiers, mostly from the food industry and research consultancy service providers specialized in the health claim authorization process.”
 
A recent story showing the difficulty of getting an EFSA health claim was the rejection of a dental health claim for Cargill’s erythritol. EFSA experts said they could not substantiate the claim “in the absence of evidence for an effect on the incidence of dental caries in vivo in humans.” In other EFSA work, it has also recently set updated dietary reference numbers for riboflavin (vitamin B2) as part of its review of scientific advice on nutrient intakes.

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Drink your vitamins: SternVitamin launches micronutrient premix for beverages 

19 Feb 2018 --- A healthy lifestyle is essential to all age groups, and nutrition plays a major role alongside various other components. SternVitamin is now offering beverage manufacturers a novel way to address the topic of health with a new micronutrient premix for healthy bones and heart. SternVitamin notes that the mix picks up on one of the top trends in the beverage market – water-based enriched products. The vegan premix contains vitamins B1, B12, C, K2 and D3. Organic agave syrup powder gives it a slight sweetness, while natural flavors give the drink a “dark berry” taste. It dissolves clear in water and leaves no turbidity. 

Nutrition & Health News

Yogurt may reduce cardiovascular disease risk

19 Feb 2018 --- A higher yogurt intake is associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk among hypertensive men and women, a study in the American Journal of Hypertension suggests. High blood pressure is a major cardiovascular disease risk factor. Clinical trials have previously demonstrated beneficial effects of dairy consumption on cardiovascular health, and yogurt may independently be related to cardiovascular disease risk.

Nutrition & Health News

“Unhelpful”: EU regulatory framework fuels nutrition industry dissatisfaction 

16 Feb 2018 --- A survey reveals that one-third of all nutrition industry professionals believe that the current EU framework for achieving a health claim on new products is stunting innovation because it’s complicated, expensive, long-winded and has several “gray areas.” And “regulation frustration” is a strong feeling running through the industry with many more professionals now believing the current EU regulatory environment is “unhelpful” – a 25 percent hike compared with statistics from the beginning of 2017. Experts are attributing this sharp rise in dissatisfaction to the EU’s tough stance on health claims and the current regulatory deadlock on botanicals.

Nutrition & Health News

Indulgence has reached even America’s healthiest eaters: research

16 Feb 2018 --- New research reveals even the US’ healthiest eaters reach for indulgence foods based on their emotional states. Forty percent of US food-brand lovers who rated their daily diet as extremely healthy agreed with the statement, “When I’m feeling down, I eat something indulgent to make me feel better.” The study, conducted by full-service food branding agency, Foodmix Marketing Communications, breaks out a large group of brand lovers into smaller, differentiated and more actionable consumer segments.  

Nutrition & Health News

Research driving demand for OPO in China’s formula market: Advanced Lipids

16 Feb 2018 --- OPO is increasing in popularity in China’s infant formula market, and according to Advanced Lipids, this is down to the growing body of scientific research backing the benefits of this ingredient. Also known as SN-2 palmitate, OPO is a premium quality ingredient that mimics the fatty acid profile of human milk.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/Roadmap-Researchers-publish-recommendations-for-successful-EU-health-food-claims.html