By Paul Tenning, PhD, Head of Regulatory Affairs EMEA at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences
On-pack health and nutrition claims are strictly controlled in the EU. Here’s what’s possible.
You don’t have to search far to find a supermarket product made for the weight management segment. The question is: what should you consider before adding a satiety message to your bakery product label?
Within the European Union, the legal environment for health and nutrition claims is strict. Only a single ingredient – konjac gum – has so far been approved for a weight loss claim. When it comes to satiety, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has currently recognised no specific claims at all.
A primary argument from EFSA is that there is not necessarily a link between satiety and weight loss. While numerous studies have found that fiber and protein, for example, delay the onset of hunger and encourage the intake of fewer calories later in the day, there is no definitive evidence that weight is reduced as a result.
But there are still other ways to get your satiety messaging across to consumers.
Fibre, protein and blood sugar stability
An important one is that many consumers already recognise the satiety benefits of foods rich in fiber and protein. So, if the fiber content of your product is 6% or above and the protein content accounts for 22-25% of the total energy content, then it qualifies for both a high fiber and a high protein nutrition claim.
Another possibility lies in the fact that fiber ingredients such as polydextrose, sweeteners such as fructose and xylitol, and cereals such as oats can support an EU approved health claim relating to blood sugar management. Foods that maintain blood sugar levels at a stable level are also increasingly widely understood by consumers as having a satiating effect.
Most importantly, we advise food manufacturers to review the regulatory status of their product formulations with their legal advisors and watch for modifications and updates to existing regulations.
Drop our regulatory team a line for advice on what individual markets permit.