April 8, 2011 was not a 'black' but rather a 'bright Friday' for BENEO. All Article 13.1 claims filed by BENEO for ISOMALT and PalatinoseT (isomaltulose) have been positively evaluated by EFSA within the fourth 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 glycemic response--in short, the low-glycemic effect. The BENEO-Institute, however, is realistic enough to know that there are still many steps to take on this 'claims journey.'
The dental claims filed by BENEO EFSA stated that "the claimed effects are 'dental health,' 'remineralization of teeth,' 'not cariogenic' and 'do not promote tooth decay' reflecting the scientific evidence that frequent consumption of sugars contributes to tooth demineralization." EFSA concluded that consumption of foods/drinks containing ISOMALT or PalatinoseT, rather than easily fermentable carbohydrates such as traditional sugars, may help decrease tooth demineralization. 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 [therefore] not lead to dental erosion." This is based on the well-known plaque pH-telemetry test developed by the University of Zürich and promoted by non-profit organization Toothfriendly International. Measurements are conducted on a routine basis at institutes such as the Zürich University of Dentistry (Switzerland) or the University Witten-Herdecke of Preventive Dentistry (Germany).
Low glycemic effect
BENEO's glycemic claims filed for ISOMALT and Palatinose EFSA established a cause-and-effect relationship between the consumption of foods/drinks containing isomalt or isomaltulose (Palatinose) rather than traditional sugars and a resulting reduction in post-prandial blood glucose responses.
The results confirm scientific substantiation for both functional carbohydrates and are a clear sign that EFSA acknowledges the advantage of using ISOMALT or Palatinose (isomaltulose), as the two functional carbohydrates offer specific physiological characteristics to improve health-related properties of the final product to benefit consumers. 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 said, "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 are pleased that the role of functional carbohydrates in helping to maintain dental health and in following a low-glycemic diet was accepted by the panel. We believe that this decision was based on sound science backing the claims and the result of the intense explanatory work conducted since 2009, as well as continual, constructive dialog along the way."
The BENEO-Institute considers this evaluation a step in the right direction for the whole Health Claim Regulation and will continue to explain product health claims 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.
The BENEO-Institute is an organization that brings together BENEO's expertise from Nutrition Science, Nutrition Communication and Regulatory Affairs teams. It acts as an advisory body for customers and partners, encompassing ingredient approval, physiological effects and nutritional composition to communication and labeling. The key nutritional topics that form the basis of the BENEO-Institute's work include weight management, digestive health, bone health, physical and mental performance and the effects of a low glycemic diet in the context of healthy eating and disease prevention as well as dental health.
The BENEO-Institute facilitates access to the latest scientific research and knowledge throughout nutritional and regulatory topics related to BENEO ingredients. It provides BENEO customers and partners with substantiated guidance for some of the most critical questions in the food industry. BENEO is a division of the Südzucker Group, employs almost 900 people and has production units in Belgium, Chile, Germany and Italy.