Changes for food health claims

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - FOOD INDUSTRY -

The new Food Stan­dards Aus­tralia New Zealand (FSANZ) stan­dard – which was agreed by New Zealand and Aus­tralian Min­is­ters in De­cem­ber – has been de­signed to pro­vide new op­por­tu­ni­ties for food com­pa­nies to make cred­i­ble and ev­i­denced-based health claims about their prod­ucts. The food in­dus­try has three years to fully com­ply with the new stan­dard.

The stan­dard al­lows food man­u­fac­tur­ers to make two types of health claims. One is “gen­eral level health claims”, that refers to a nu­tri­ent or sub­stance in a food and its effect on a health func­tion, e.g. “Cal­cium is good for bones and teeth”. Claims like this are not al­lowed to re­fer to a se­ri­ous dis­ease or to a biomarker or in­di­ca­tor of a se­ri­ous dis­ease.

Food busi­nesses can make gen­eral level health claims based on one of the more than 200 pre-ap­proved food-health re­la­tion­ships set out in the stan­dard. They can also “self­sub­stan­ti­ate” a food-health re­la­tion­ship as de­tailed in re­quire­ments set out in the stan­dard.

This is an in­no­va­tive ap­proach to health claims reg­u­la­tion, and pro­vides f lex­i­bil­ity and speed for the en­try of new prod­ucts into the mar­ket place.

The other is “high level health claims”, which refers to a nu­tri­ent or sub­stance in a food and its re­la­tion­ship to a se­ri­ous dis­ease or a biomarker of a se­ri­ous dis­ease, such as: “Di­ets high in cal­cium may re­duce the risk of os­teo­poro­sis in peo­ple 65 years and over”.

These health claims must be based on a food-health re­la­tion­ship that has been preap­proved by FSANZ. There are cur­rently 13 pre-ap­proved food-health re­la­tion­ships for high-level health claims listed in the stan­dard.

Nutri­tion con­tent claims, such as “good source of cal­cium”, will con­tinue to be al­lowed.

More in­for­ma­tion about the stan­dard can be found on FSANZ’ web­site at:

www.food­stan­dards.gov.au

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