Dispatches from HIE 2010

Beneo queries the ins and outs of EFSA ‘active ingredient approach’

By Shane Starling in Madrid

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, European food safety authority

The European Food Safety Authority should be able to deliver health claim opinions based on products that have had ingredients like fermented carbohydrates removed from them, says Beneo.

Anke Sentko, vice president regulatory affairs and nutrition communication, tells Shane Starling why the agency should consider the replacement of such carbohydrates with the likes of polyol bulk sweeteners as valid health claim proposals.

Micronutrient limbo

“This is something that is currently not covered by the approach EFSA has taken,” ​she said. “…so with these kinds of claims – and mostly micronutrients are affected by this – we are somehow in limbo.”

‘Taking out’ ingredients like carbohydrates can be just as beneficial as ‘putting in’ nutrients like pectin in the case of glycaemic response claims, she said.

“If you replace sugar with a low-glycaemic carbohydrate, or part of the sugar and part of the starch, you end up with the same glycaemic response but this currently cannot be assessed by EFSA…For these kinds of claims we need to have solutions.”

Sentko said the Commission and EFSA and other parties needed to discuss the situation to determine if an alternative approach could be arrived at.

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