New regulation on nutrition and health claims will apply from 1 July 2007.
Regulation No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament will control the nutrition and health claims made on food and provide consumer protection. Legislation will be unified across the EU.
The regulation will provide a list of permitted claims that can be made on food, together with the criteria that a product must meet to use these claims.
Examples of nutrition claims and the conditions that apply to them include:
? ’low fat’ - the claim can only be made where the product contains no more than 3% fat
? ’low sugars’ - no more than 5% sugars in a product
? ’low salt’ - no more than 0.12% of salt
? ’high fibre’ - at least 6% fibre
? ’high source of protein’ - the product must contain at least 10% of the Dietary Reference Values (DRV)
? ’high source of vitamins and minerals’ - the product contain at least 15% DRV.
Article 4 of the legislation states that by 29 January 2009, the European Commission shall establish specific nutrient profiles, which will define:
? the quantities of certain nutrients, such as fat, salt and sugar and other substances in the food
? the role, importance and contribution of the food in the diet
? the composition of the food including any nutrients that have been scientifically recognised as having an effect on health.
Nutrient profiling will establish the exact health claims that can be used for common ingredients such as omega 3 and calcium.