EFSA Approves New Caries Reduction Claim For Xylitol Chewing Gum

The European Food Safety Authority has approved a new very strong ‘Xylitol chewing gum reduces the risk of caries in children’ claim.

Danisco’s strategy to become First choice for our customers can take on many different forms. One of the key factors that facilitate the view of Danisco as leader in the market is that Danisco supports scientific and regulatory issues. For example, by providing the platform for scientific substantiation, our customers are able to make very strong dental claims on products which contain an appropriate level of xylitol.

One such claim, the first which is to be published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), relied upon a wealth of scientific substantiation which is paramount to successful approval. With many health claims already being rejected by EFSA, such a strong claim for xylitol chewing gum underlines the strength of dental research which has been undertaken.

Unique dental benefits of xylitol
This claim reinforces the unique dental benefits of xylitol as it specifically relates to a disease risk reduction. EFSA has included the claim in Article 14 of the regulation which is one of the strongest categories supported by such regulations. Currently, all sugar free chewing gum can carry the claim ‘Does not promote tooth decay’ irrespective of which polyol is used in the formulation. This new regulation from EFSA provides a unique stronger claim for 100% xylitol chewing gum.

EFSA published its scientific opinion on health claims related to xylitol in chewing gum on 30 October 2008.

The Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion based on the scientific substantiation for a health claim related to the reduction of the risk of tooth decay. A very strict evidential criterion was applied

The panel considered ‘that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of chewing gum sweetened with 100% xylitol and the reduction of the risk of tooth decay in children’

Scientific justification is related to consumption of 2-3g of chewing gum sweetened with 100% xylitol at least three times per day after meals

The following wording reflects the scientific evidence:

‘Xylitol chewing gum reduces the risk of caries in children’

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