SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements & Nutrition - EuropeUS edition

Headlines > Regulation

Cholesterol lowering chocolate health claim in EFSA’s hands

Post a comment

By Oliver Nieburg+

03-Sep-2014
Last updated on 03-Sep-2014 at 15:09 GMT

Lycotec prepared to license claim for L-tug in chocolate should it win
Lycotec prepared to license claim for L-tug in chocolate should it win

Biotec firm Lycotec has submitted a dossier to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to gain a health claim for its L-tug ingredient, which it claims can be added to chocolate to reduce cholesterol.

L-tug is derived from lycopene, a pigment found in tomatoes and other red fruit and veg that is recognized as safe for food-use in Europe and the US.

Lycotec submitted an Article 14 disease risk factor reduction claim to EFSA last week. It proposed that: “L-tug has been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.”

Article 14 health claims have a 30% success rate. Of the 70 claims submitted, only 20 have been granted.

No panacea concept

We asked Lycotec CEO Ivan Petyaev how he expected to succeed where so many others had failed.

“We are not claiming ‘a new panacea’ for all products and for everybody, like some applicants may try to do, but provide a tailored design, unique for each food matrix, and more defined targeted population which could maximize the benefit of application of our product(s),” he said.

The Lycotec chief said his company had nine studies and other supporting data to back up its claim and had proprietary technology data that could be adapted specifically for chocolate or other food fat matrices.

According to Lyotec, the L-tug ingredient works by guiding smaller lipid particles to hepatocytes, intelligent cells in the liver that can break down lipids more easily.

Cholesterol health claims

Barry Callebaut health claim

The only EU-approved health claim for chocolate or cocoa is Barry Callebaut’s heart health claim . It says that 200 mg of cocoa flavanols in cocoa beverages or dark chocolate contribute to normal blood flow.

Most EU cholesterol health claims are to ‘maintain normal cholesterol’ with ingredients such as linoleic acid or guar gum. However, there are approved claims to reduce/lower blood cholesterol, for barley beta-glucans, oat beta glucan, plant sterols and plant stanol esters. These authorized claims carry the same wording as Lycotec’s proposed claim.

Cholesterol lowering products tend to come in drinks or spreads such as Benecol and also cereals such as Kellogg’s Optivita brand and Quaker Oat Granola.

Which Article?

Lycotec previously said it would also apply for a ‘new function’ Art. 13.5 claim. These claims are based on emerging and proprietary science rather than disease risk reduction, like Art. 14 claims, and do not oblige companies to publish their data.

“We would like to cover both markets, but we cannot apply for both Articles at the same time. Hence we started with the more ‘powerful’ one, but 13.5 is our next target - in a short time,” said Petyaev.

Industry backing

Lycotec has partnered with an unnamed chocolate manufacturer that will produce L-tug chocolate for a medium-sized European country - however the ingredient will also be available to other firms.

“We start in Europe and certainly would like to have partners with right vision to drive our chocolate and our brand around the globe,” said Petyaev.

EFSA aims to respond to Art. 14 health claims within half a year, but the process often takes much longer.

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Get FREE access to authoritative breaking news, videos, podcasts, webinars and white papers. SUBSCRIBE

Post a comment

Comment title *
Your comment *
Your name *
Your email *

We will not publish your email on the site

I agree to Terms and Conditions

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Related products

Products