EU Nutrition & Health Claims
Can your food brands benefit from the new era of permitted health claims?
In May 2012, the European Commission published a list of permitted Article 13.1 health claims, as foreseen by EU regulation 1924/2006/EC.
European food and beverage manufacturers now have a clear framework of health claims that can be made for products if they include specific functional ingredients - plus a mixture of rules and guidance on how claims can be communicated to consumers using specific language.
Out of many thousand claims initially submitted, only 222 have been approved by the European Commission as effective and scientifically substantiated, based on scientific opinions from EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority.
After December 2012, products making unapproved claims must be withdrawn from the market—reinforcing the credibility of those that remain on sale.
This new era in ‘proven’ benefit foods will provide a significant opportunity for products that can truly deliver a specific health benefit. To profit from this, manufacturers may need to adapt their communication and marketing strategies by:
- an increased awareness of product composition and its link to the ability to deliver a claimable benefit,
- identifying relevant new formulation opportunities on the basis of the legislation,
- investigating claim wording with local enforcement bodies.
Cargill’s Health & Nutrition capabilities can help your business take full advantage of the new regime. Cargill already has a range of ingredients that can support claims and is working actively in the health and nutrition field to market additional ingredients with demonstrable benefits.
EU Nutrition and Health claims
Meeting EU nutritional and health claims
Before the current legislation, there were claims already available, governing the conditions under which general claims relating to reduction of key ingredients or nutrients are permitted.
These often only permit the use of health claims provided meaningful reductions or levels are achieved in nutritional elements, e.g. 30% reduction in calories in order to make the claim that a product is calorie-reduced.
Precise definitions govern use of specific terms.
- Low sugar means no more than 5g of sugars per 100g or 2.5g per 100ml.
- Sugar-free means no more than 0.5g of sugars per 100g or 100ml.
- Low calorie means less than 40 kcal (170 kJ)/100g and less than 20kcal (80kJ)/100ml
- Reduced calorie means energy value must be reduced by at least 30 percent, plus an indication of how the reduced energy value is obtained.
To claim that a product is “light” or “lite” it must meet the “reduced calorie” criteria above, and carry an explanation of which characteristics underpin the reduction.
Cargill’s range of and its can all serve as sugar replacers and reduce calories.
For example, Cargill has developed a prototype calorie-reduced strawberry yoghurt made using Truvia® stevia leaf extract and ZeroseTM erythritol. This tasted creamy, rich and fruity, just like a traditional full-calorie formulation and achieved a more than 30% calorie reduction. A chocolate cream dessert prototype, made using Truvia® stevia leaf extract and C*Maltidex maltitol, has also been produced, achieving a 30% calorie reduction.
Some Cargill products are only approved for use in certain geographies, end uses, and/or at certain usage levels. It is the customer's responsibility to determine, for a particular geography, that (i) the Cargill product, its use and usage levels, (ii) the customer's product and its use, and (iii) any claims made about the customer's product, all comply with applicable laws and regulations.