EFSA health claim opinions - article 13, batch 4

EFSA issues batch four of article 13 health claims

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

EFSA has now completed 80% of article 13 general function health claims
EFSA has now completed 80% of article 13 general function health claims

Related tags Blood glucose levels Nutrition

The European Food Safety Authority’s health claims panel this morning issued 442 fresh article 13 general function health claim opinions, causing a run on its site that crashed it for many minutes.

Winners included:

  • walnut and improved function of blood vessels
  • olive oil polyphenol antioxidant effects and reduced LDL cholesterol;
  • caffeine and alertness and increased physical endurance
  • replacement of digestible starch by resistant starch to lower the increase of blood glucose levels after meals
  • the replacement of saturated fatty acids with mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels
  • a range of sugar replacers (e.g. xylitol or sorbitol) in maintaining tooth mineralisation or lowering the increase of blood glucose levels after meals

Losers included probiotics and lutein, but NutraIngredients was unable to access the website for further details at the time of publication.

Of the antioxidant positive claim, Thomas Pauquai from consultancy NutraVeris observed:

"As previously, the claimed effect required by the applicants were 'reduces oxidative stress', 'antioxidant properties, etc while the Panel assumes that the claimed effects refer to the protection of low density lipoproteins particles from oxidative damage, that may be a beneficial physiological effect."

As with the previous three batches, the agency highlighted problems with many of the dossiers.

“Information gaps included, for instance: the inability to identify the specific substance on which the claim is based; the lack of evidence that the claimed effect is indeed beneficial to the maintenance or improvement of body functions; or the lack of precision regarding the health claim being made,”​ it said.

“In addition, some claims were outside the scope of the current legal framework.”

The head of EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA), Dr Juliane Kleiner, added: “Experts on the Panel have completed the evaluation of about 80% of ‘general function’ health claims, excluding the so-called ‘botanical’ claims, and are committed to finalising the remaining claims by the agreed deadline.”

The agency said it will host three online consultations later this month relating to:

  • bone, joint and oral health
  • oxidative damage and cardiovascular health
  • satiety, weight management and blood glucose concentrations.

Look to NutraIngredients next week for detailed analysis of, and reaction to these opinions.

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