EFSA's claim agenda: Joint health, blood sugar, indigestion & stomach ulcers

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

 Food for Health Ireland’s (FHI), Gelita and Chios Mastiha Growers Association all take a shot at an EFSA health claim. iStock.com / BrianAJackson
Food for Health Ireland’s (FHI), Gelita and Chios Mastiha Growers Association all take a shot at an EFSA health claim. iStock.com / BrianAJackson

Related tags Helicobacter pylori

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is considering four health claim applications on joint function, blood sugar, indigestion and stomach ulcers.

The three 13.5 health claims were:

-          “A characteristic collagen peptide mixture that contributes to the maintenance of normal joint function,” ​filed by German-based company Gelita.

-          “FHI LFC24 helps to regulate blood glucose levels following food consumption,” ​filed by dairy ingredients research consortium Food for Health Ireland (FHI).

-          ​Chios Mastiha contributes to the improvement of dyspepsia,” ​filed by the Chios Mastiha Growers Association.

Meanwhile the Greece-based Chios Mastiha Growers Association also filed an article 14 claim stating: “​Chios Mastiha contributes to the reduction of Helicobacter pylori which is a risk factor for the development of stomach ulcers.”

Chios mastiha​ is a plant resin from the mastic tree also known as Arabic gum and Yemen gum and used as a traditional medicine.

Article 13.5 health claims are those based on newly developed scientific evidence and/or for which protection of proprietary data is requested.

Article 14 claims refer to the reduction of disease risk factors or to children's development or health. On its website EFSA says it has received 268 applications, within which 103 applications were withdrawn and 75 scientific opinions adopted.

According to the EU register on nutrition and health claims, only 25 article 14 claims have been passed into EU law without objection from the European Commission and other EU institutions.

Meanwhile EFSA has received 48 article 13.5 applications, of which 13 were withdrawn and 27 scientific opinions adopted. 

Antibacterial botanical

Chios Mastiha mastic tears Arabic gum tree resin botanicals iStock.com PicturePartners
Chios Mastiha is a plant resin from the mastic tree also known as Arabic gum and Yemen gum. Photo credit: iStock.com / PicturePartners

Greek research on 148 patients in 2010​ suggested chios mastic gum “significantly improves”​ symptoms like stomach pain and heartburn in patients with functional dyspepsia – indigestion – compared to a placebo.

In the same year the same researchers from Chios General Hospital Skylitsion in Greece published a study on the effect of pure mastic gum on Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori​) eradication in patients suffering from an H. pylori​ infection, which is a risk factor peptic ulcers. They said the proof of principle study showed mastic gum possessed antibacterial activity.  

Patented peptides

Food for Health Ireland’s (FHI) health claim application refers to one of the three ingredients it has patented since it was founded by public and private players in 2006.  

The international patent refers to peptides and their compositions for the improvement of glycaemic management in a mammal

FHI has also filed patents for the potential therapeutic effects of oligosaccharides on infant nutrition and a nutritional supplement suitable for increasing lean tissue mass in a mammal.

Gelita’s collagen peptide health claim dossier refers to its product Fortigel.

On its site the company references 2008 research from Penn State University, which suggested the product could help relieve symptoms and improve mobility of athletes suffering from activity-related joint pain.

In 2011 EFSA rejected a similar health claim application from Gelita​for joint health and collagen hydrolysate. According to the EU register on nutrition and health claims, there have been over 70 claim rejections related to joint health. 

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1 comment

R&D Manager Chios Mastiha Growers Association

Posted by Dr Ilias Smyrnioudis,

Chios mastiha or Chios Gum Mastic is the resin from pistacia lentiscus, complete different tree from that produce the Yemen mastic or the Gum Arabic. For than reason and in order to avoid imitations Chios Mastiha is protected from the European Union as PDO product.
Kind regards
Ilias Smyrnioudis

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