Phytosterols are one of the few winners in EFSA's latest round of health claims opinions.
Among the many rejections of Article 13.1 claims published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA; Parma, Italy) on October 19, there were some notable winners-one being plant sterols and stanols.
EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA) confirmed a cause and effect relationship between plant sterols and stanols and blood cholesterol reduction. The NDA panel stated that wording claims like “Plant sterols/stanols help to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels,” and “Plant sterols/stanols contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels” are supported by the scientific evidence that was provided to the panel.
In order to validate the use of such claims, the panel decided on a minimum required content of 0.8 g of sterols/stanols per serving of a food.
The panel also warned that consumption of the ingredients might not be nutritionally appropriate for pregnant or breastfeeding women and children under five years old.
To download EFSA’s full document on plant sterols and stanols, click here.