Programme Areas >> Risk Assessment in Food Safety Print Friendly

 

Methodology Adopted in this Study for Assessing Nutrient Content and Health Claims

 

I. Assessment of Nutrient Content Claims

In this study, when assessing whether the nutrient contents of those samples bearing nutrient content claims had met the relevant benchmark level, reference had been made to the nutrient claim conditions for vitamins and minerals in general prepackaged foods (Table 1) and Reference Daily Requirements for older infants and young children (Table 2) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex).

2. For instance, Codex has set claim conditions for “source of iron” in general prepackaged foods, including the solid food should contain not less than 15% of the Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) of iron per 100 g of food. Codex has set a NRV of 15 mg for iron for the general population. As such, if the concerned food contains not less than 2.25 mg of iron (i.e. 15% of 15 mg), then its iron content level would meet the condition for “source” claim. Codex has not established claim conditions for “source of iron” in foods for infants and young children. Nevertheless, Codex has set Reference Daily Requirements (RDR) of iron for older infants and young children (12 mg). Applying the relevant principle of setting claim conditions in general prepackaged foods to foods for infants or young children, with the calculation based on the above-mentioned RDR, it is considered in this study that if a solid food for infants and young children contains not less than 1.8 mg of iron (i.e. 15% of 12 mg), then the iron content level of the concerned food would meet the benchmark level for “source of iron” claim.

3. In addition, with reference to the relevant requirements in the European Union regarding claims related to the addition of vitamins and minerals such as “added” or “enriched”, the food would also need to meet the above-mentioned nutrition content claim conditions.

II. Assessment of Health Claims

4. For assessing the scientific substantiation of health claims shown on the packages of the samples of this study, the following key criteria making reference to relevant Codex recommendations have been taken into account:

  • Health claims should primarily be based on evidence provided by well-designed human intervention studies, demonstrating a consistent association between the food or food constituent and the health effect, with little or no evidence to the contrary. The totality of evidence, including that supports and contradicts the claimed effect and the ambiguous and unclear ones should be identified and reviewed;
  • Nutrient function claims may be substantiated based on generally accepted authoritative statements by recognised expert scientific bodies that have been verified and validated over time;
  • Some health claims may be substantiated based on observational evidence yet a consistent body of evidence should be provided from a number of well-designed studies.
  • Evidence-based dietary guidelines and authoritative statements prepared or endorsed by a competent authoritative body and meeting the same high scientific standards may also be used.

5. Reference to the evaluation opinions, decisions and guidelines from competent authoritative bodies and major regulatory authorities (e.g. European Union) has also been made.

Table 1. Nutrient content claim conditions for vitamins and minerals (except sodium) in general prepackaged foods established by Codex.

(1) “Source”

(a)

Solid food containing not less than 15% of the NRV of the vitamin or mineral concerned per 100 g of food;

(b)

Liquid food containing not less than 7.5% of the NRV of the vitamin or mineral concerned per 100 ml of food;

(c)

or Food containing not less than 5% of the NRV of the vitamin or mineral concerned per 100 kcal of food (12% of the NRV of the vitamin or mineral concerned per 1MJ of food);

(d)

or Food containing not less than 15% of the NRV of the vitamin or mineral concerned per serving of food.

(2) “High”

(a)

Solid food containing not less than 30% of the NRV of the vitamin or mineral concerned per 100 g of food;

(b)

Liquid food containing not less than 15% of the NRV of the vitamin or mineral concerned per 100 ml of food;

(c)

or Food containing not less than 10% of the NRV of the vitamin or mineral concerned per 100 kcal of food (24% of the NRV of the vitamin or mineral concerned per 1MJ of food);

(d)

or Food containing not less than 30% of the NRV of the vitamin or mineral concerned per serving of food.

Table 2. Reference Daily Requirements for older infants (1) and young children (2) established by Codex.

Nutrients

Reference Daily Requirements

Vitamin A

400 μg retinol equivalents

Vitamin D (3)

10 μg

Vitamin E

5 mg

Vitamin C

20 mg

Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

0.5 mg

Riboflavin

0.8 mg

Niacin

9 mg

Vitamin B6

0.9 mg

Folate

50 μg

Vitamin B12

1 μg

Calcium

800 mg

Iron (4)

12 mg

Iodine

*

Zinc

10 mg

Notes:

 
(1)
"Older infants" means persons from the 6 th month and not more than 12 months of age.
 
(2)
"Young children" means persons from the age of 12 months up to the age of three years (36 months).
 
(3)
Vitamin D should be added if there is inadequate exposure to sunlight.
 
(4)
Requirement with low bioavailability diet (5%).
 
*
No FAO/WHO reference values are available. Recommended intakes are about 50-70 μg per day.

 

 

Back  Back to Top
 
Last Revision Date : 16-04-2012