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.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Weekly Digest: Probiotics reduce bone loss in older women, Optibiotix expands reach in Italy

22 Jun 2018 --- This week in nutrition, Australian Whole Grain Week launched a new diet database in the hope to enhance healthy diets across the country. In research news, UK scientists warn that the normalization of plus-size body shapes may undermine obesity reduction efforts, while probiotics were found to have a significant protective effect for the bones of older women, and further research found that four cups of coffee seemed to protect the heart. Optimum Nutrition and Faber embarked on a campaign to improve American travel snacking habits and Optibiotix and Alfasigma partnered to commercialize Optibiotix's probiotic supplement in Italy. Lastly, this year’s Institute of Food Technologist (IFT18) in Chicago, US, will see NZMP launching a new milk protein ingredient and Lycored delivering some excitement on the floor with “culinary art.”

Nutrition & Health News

“Postbiotics” & smart toilet paper: Future platforms in digestive health?

22 Jun 2018 --- “Postbiotics” – the metabolic byproducts produced by our gut bacteria – and even smart toilet paper are some of the ideas within digestive health put forward following novel research at King's College London into the function of gut bacteria. Linked to a range of health-related conditions, the gut microbiome has been a topic of growing interest. However, although there is an established list of gut bacteria, their function in the gut has remained reasonably unknown. The researchers have set out to create a database of fecal metabolites – compounds produced by the gut microbiome – in an attempt to shed light on the relationship between what we eat, the way it is processed by our gut microbes and how we accumulate abdominal fat. 

Nutrition & Health News

Plasma Nutrition technology found to significantly boost bioavailability of whey protein

21 Jun 2018 --- A University of South Florida study has found that Plasma Nutrition’s Ingredient Optimized technology can make whey protein more bioavailable than high DH hydrolyzed whey protein. The research was conducted on a double-blinded randomized cohort in a crossover design and compared the effects of 25g of non-hydrolyzed ioProtein whey protein isolate (WPI) to 25g of a high-DH hydrolyzed whey protein. The results show that ioWhey Protein is more bioavailable than hydrolyzed whey protein, demonstrating a 58 percent increase in leucine absorption and 60 percent increase in BCAA absorption.

Nutrition & Health News

More than a flavor: Flavoring substances stimulate immune defenses, study finds

21 Jun 2018 --- Not only do citric acid and spicy 6-gingerol from ginger add special flavors to food and beverages; both substances also stimulate the molecular defenses in human saliva, researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology have found. The findings demonstrate the potential of flavor substances to have properties that go beyond the sensory.

Nutrition & Health News

Zero proof that probiotics can ease your anxiety, research reveals

21 Jun 2018 --- Those hoping to alleviate their anxiety with the use of probiotics should probably put down that yogurt spoon or supplement bottle and call a professional instead. This is according to researchers from the University of Kansas who reviewed available research, finding evidence that probiotics can reduce anxiety in rodents, but not in humans. The researchers reviewed data from 22 preclinical studies involving 743 animals and 14 clinical studies of 1,527 individuals, and found that probiotics did “not significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety in humans and did not differentially affect clinical and healthy human samples.”

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