The European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM) said the Quality Guide for Food Supplements will help reach a high and consistent level of quality across the bloc. Developed by a team of technical experts from the European food supplement industry, the guide covers all aspects of production across the European Union including manufacturing, quality control, packaging, distribution and storage. This is the very first time such guidelines have been drawn up and the recommended requirements are based on examples of best practices, to help maintain the safe and consistent production of supplements, EHPM said. In Europe, rules regarding supplements have been the focus of major changes by the European Commission. Legislation has covered a plethora of areas including what companies can claim a product can do. Tough new rules have also been put in place regarding food safety in the supply chain under the hygiene law Regulation (EC) 854/2004. This rule has had a big impact on omega-3 suppliers who have to meet tough health checks to avoid fish contamination with parasites or harmful substance EHPM's guide has taken on board existing national guides that have been developed by the group's member associations over the past ten years to help ensure a common approach across the EU. Technical adviser Peter Berry Ottaway said: "This guide is a major step forward in achieving consistent quality for food supplements in Europe. "It is a significant component in achieving food supplement quality worldwide." The guide has been created as a tool for all food supplement companies - which includes those that have their products contract manufactured and those that solely distribute products. Chairman Peter van Doorn added: "The issue of quality is of primary importance to manufacturers. "Our aim is to maintain high standards of quality across the industry, so this guide is an invaluable best practice reference for the manufacture and distribution of food supplements."