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The newly authorized claim says replacing sugars with inulin “induces a lower blood glucose rise after their consumption compared to sugar-containing foods/drinks.”
A newly authorized health claim in Europe is paving the way for several chicory root fiber ingredients to stand on a more robust marketing platform for blood-glucose management. Also labeled as inulin or oligofructose, the chicory root fibers are now authorized for a 13.5 health claim by the EU Commission.
The claim, which can be applied to products containing the chicory root fiber ingredients from Beneo (Mannheim, Germany), Cosucra (Warcoing, Belgium), and Sensus (Roosendaal, The Netherlands), includes the following: “Consumption of food/drinks containing chicory root fiber/inulin/oligofructose instead of sugars induces a lower blood glucose rise after their consumption compared to sugar-containing foods/drinks.”
The claim’s authorization comes after the companies submitted evidence linking inulin and improved blood glucose to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It is expected to be published in the EU Official Journal within the next 4–6 weeks, and will be allowed for use on the market soon, according to Beneo.
“Consumers are increasingly aware that carbohydrate-based, low-glycemic products contribute to healthy nutrition,” says Anke Sentko, vice president of regulatory affairs and nutrition communication, Beneo. “The new health claim for Beneo’s dietary fibers inulin and oligofructose confirms once again the strong scientific evidence behind our ingredients. But, even more important than that, it offers manufacturers the opportunity to help consumers make better choices in their daily diet that support a low glycemic nutrition.”
Additionally, in January, Beneo’s chicory inulin received a separate 13.5 health claim in Europe for digestive health.
Cosucra noted that the condition of use for the new 13.5 health claim, which can now be used with its Fibruline chicory root fiber range, is that inulin must replace a minimum 30% of sugars. The company also expressed concern that while diabetic consumer may be especially interested in the new claim, it may be complicated for non-diabetic consumers to understand.
“In fact it may be [too complicated] at the beginning,” says Cosucra, in its announcement. “To avoid this, manufacturers will have to do a bit of pedagogy in order to explain the benefits of managing our blood sugar levels via their blog, a dedicated website, or simple messages on-pack.”
The new 13.5 health claim comes in addition to the existing article 10.3 health claims for general health-related well-being of chicory root fiber, including “lower and more-balanced blood glucose rise,” explained Sensus.
“In addition to a low GI, chicory root fiber has a natural sweetness and less than half the calories of sugar, which means that it can be used to reduce the amount of processed sugar and fat needed within food products,” said Elaine Vaughan, manager of scientific and regulatory affairs, Sensus. “It also enhances the taste and texture of foods, and with the new health claim approved, manufacturers now have a strengthened opportunity to encourage consumers to opt for healthier food and drinks.”
Nutritional Outlook Magazine