Cargill Energized by Favourable EFSA Opinion on Article 13 Beta-Glucan Health Claim

It will soon become easier than ever for Europeans to enjoy the health benefits of Barliv™ barley betafiber. In a summary scientific opinion issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in October 2009, the relationship between consuming beta-glucan and healthy blood cholesterol was confirmed: a significant step in enabling a health claim in the EU. This opens the doors for Cargill and its European food and beverage manufacturing partners to launch exciting new products that contain Barliv™ barley betafiber and to use a health claim.

Barliv™ barley betafiber is a breakthrough new soluble fiber that is invisible when added to foods and beverages. It is a soluble fiber extract derived from whole grain barley, and has been clinically shown to lower cholesterol. The high purity and low viscosity of Barliv™ barley betafiber allow for its use in a wide variety of applications, from carbonated and even clear beverages to snacks and cereals.

“Unlike in the United States, where Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved health claims may relate to an ingredient’s ability to reduce risk of a health condition (i.e. reduce risk of heart disease via lowering cholesterol), the EU Article 13 health claims allow health claim language that relates to an ingredient’s role in sustaining good health,” explains Lore Kolberg, senior manager, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs. “Elevated cholesterol is a widespread concern. This is a significant step in Cargill’s drive to commercialize new products with high relevance to consumers, capitalizing on the increasing demand for heart-healthy products.”

The potential Article 13 claim language for products containing beta-glucans that are manufactured for the European market is, for example: “3 grams per day of barley beta-glucan, as part of a diet low in saturated fat, and a healthy lifestyle, can help manage normal blood cholesterol. A portion of this food contains 0.75 grams of beta-blucan.”

“This health claim helps us gain visibility in the health ingredients marketplace and opens up new categories to deliver this benefit, such as beverages,” said Olivier Duchatelier, EU sales director, Cargill Health & Nutrition. “We are very pleased with the enthusiasm this has created.”

The FDA has examined the research on barley betafiber and cholesterol reduction, and in 2008 authorized this health claim for labels of qualifying foods containing the ingredient: Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 3 grams per day of beta-glucan soluble fiber from barley betafiber may reduce the risk of heart disease. Barliv™ barley betafiber is the only barley beta-glucan concentrate that is authorized to use this FDA health claim. Research regarding additional health benefits of Barliv™ barley betafiber is ongoing.

Watch for Barliv™ barley betafiber to start showing up in Europe as well as the U.S. on food labels of everything from beverages to snacks and cereals. For additional information, visit www.barliv.com and www.facebook.com/barliv.

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 159,000 people in 68 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.

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