German pharma giant Merck has teamed with probiotics ingredients player Chr Hansen in a bid to win the European Union’s first probiotic health claim.
The two firms last month submitted an article 13.5 claim under the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) linking Chr Hansen’s Lactobacillus paracasei LP-33 probiotic strain and allergy resistance (Merck via its French arm, Merck Médication Familiale).
The claim revolves around the idea that the strain can, “contribute to the body’s resistance to airborne allergens in adult subjects”.
“The application is based on studies showing a positive effect of a specific probiotic strain used in dietary supplements by people with allergy,” Chr Hansen’s director of scientific affairs in health and nutrition, Birgit Michelsen, told us.
“An EFSA ruling relating to this is expected during spring 2013.”
It is not certain which Merck products would bear the claim, if it was approved.