EFSA Reviews Fifth Batch of Health Claims

July 2, 2011

The agency’s has weighed in on 536 new claims.

For three months, industry has awaited the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) fifth batch of general function health claims. Now, the agency’s expert NDA Panel has weighed in on 536 new claims.

Here’s the NDA Panel’s opinion of its approved claims:

 

  • Chitosan: a cause and effect relationship has been established for chitosan and maintenance of normal low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Three grams of chitosan should be consumed daily for the given effect.
  • Rye fiber: a cause and effect relationship has been established between rye fiber and changes in bowel function (i.e., reduced transit time, more frequent bowel movements, and increased bulk, and softer stools).
  • Oat and barley fiber: a cause and effect relationship has been established between oat and barley fiber-and their beta glucans-and increasing fecal bulk. The claim works for baked goods containing 6g/100g of oat or barley fiber and a beta glucan content equal or greater than 3 g per daily serving.
  • Low sodium: a cause and effect relationship has been established between high sodium dietary intake and high blood pressure; reducing dietary sodium intake thus supports normal blood pressure.
  • Very low-calorie diet: a cause and effect relationship has been established between consumption of a very low-calorie diet and body weight reduction.
  • Carbohydrate-electrolytes: a cause and effect relationship has been established between consumption of carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions and maintaining endurance performance.
  • Melatonin: a cause and effect relationship has been established for between melatonin and sleep onset latency. In order to obtain the claimed effect, the panel says that 1 g of melatonin should be consumed near bedtime.

 

The majority of submitted ingredient claims, were unsuccessful including:

 

  • Astaxanthin for fighting UV-induced skin damage.
  • Palm and oat oil emulsions for weight control.
  • Supercritical-extracted blackcurrant seed oil for maintaining normal blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.
  • Proanthocyanidins from cranberry(Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton) for defense against lower urinary tract bacterial pathogens.
  • Caffeine and theobromine in cocoa: for enhancement of mood.
  • L-carnitine, ribose, and casein protein hydrolysates for faster recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise.
  • Folate for normal blood pressure.

 

With the support of EFSA’s reviews, the European Commission and its member states can now decide on whether or not to authorize claims on products relating to these ingredients.

EFSA will publish reviews of 35 remaining claims in July.