BENEO’s claims for ISOMALT and Palatinose™ receive positive EFSA opinion
April 2011 - Not a ‘black’ but ‘bright Friday’ for BENEO on April 8, 2011. All Article 13.1 claims filed by BENEO for ISOMALT and Palatinose™ (isomaltulose) have been positively evaluated by EFSA¹ within the 4th batch. The claims in question relate to two areas in which the choice of food can make a difference: one is the maintenance of dental health and the second concerns the reduction of post-prandial glycaemic response, in short the low-glycaemic effect. The BENEO-Institute however is realistic enough to know that there still many steps to take on this ‘claims journey’.
Dental healthOn the dental claims filed by BENEO² EFSA stated that “the claimed effects are ‘dental health’, ‘remineralisation of teeth’, ‘not cariogenic’ and ‘do not promote tooth decay’ reflecting the scientific evidence as frequent consumption of sugars contributes to tooth demineralisation”.³ EFSA concluded that consumption of foods/drinks containing ISOMALT or Palatinose™ instead of easily fermentable carbohydrates like traditional sugars may help maintain tooth mineralisation by decreasing tooth demineralisation. It further reads “in order to bear the claim […] such foods or drinks [should] not lower plaque pH below 5.7 during and up to 30 minutes after consumption and not lead to dental erosion.” As such the condition is the well-known plaque pH-telemetry test as developed by the University of Zürich and promoted by the non-profit organisation, Toothfriendly International. Measurements are conducted on a routine base at institutes such as the Zürich University of Dentistry (Switzerland) or the University Witten-Herdecke of Preventive Dentistry (Germany).
Low glycaemic effectOn BENEO’s glycaemic claims filed for ISOMALT and Palatinose™ EFSA established a cause and effect relationship between the consumption of foods/drinks containing isomalt or isomaltulose (Palatinose™) instead of traditional sugars and a reduction in post-prandial blood glucose responses.
The results confirm the scientific substantiation for both functional carbohydrates and are a clear sign that EFSA acknowledges the advantage of using ISOMALT or Palatinose™ (isomaltulose); the two functional carbohydrates offer specific physiological characterisitics to improve the health related properties of the final product, for the benefit of the consumer. Furthermore, it shows that a solution was born out of the ‘comparative or replacement claims discussion’ in which many macronutrients, like health beneficial carbohydrates, were held since 2009 when EFSA raised an eligibility issue with these type of claims in the context of the Nutrition and Health Claim Regulation.
Anke Sentko, Vice President Regulatory Affairs & Nutrition Communication at BENEO: “We are relieved about this result that acknowledges the unique physiological characteristics of our longstanding and well-known polyol, ISOMALT and in particular of our new functional carbohydrate Palatinose™. We’re pleased that the role of functional carbohydrates in helping to maintain dental health as well as to follow a low-glycaemic diet was accepted by the panel. We believe this decision was based on the sound science backing the claims and the result of the intense explanatory work conducted since 2009, as well as continual, finally constructive dialogue along the way.”
The BENEO-Institute considers this evaluation as a step in the right direction for the whole Health Claim Regulation and will continue to explain those product health claims that are still pending. Furthermore BENEO continues to develop new dossiers to secure the health benefits of its ingredients, helping to fuel future innovation in the food industry and provide diversity for consumers.
¹EFSA Journal 2011; 9(4): 2076
²ID 647, 1591, 2921
³The cause and effect is related to an exposure of four times daily or more
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