European food and beverage manufacturers will soon be able to use a stronger health claim on products that contain Barliv® barley betafiber (beta-glucan). In a summary scientific opinion by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in December 2011, the panel confirmed a cause-and-effect relationship between barley beta glucans and lower/reduced blood cholesterol.
Cargill had petitioned EFSA for an Article 14 health claim in May 2011, providing significant supporting evidence, including 16 scientific references. The EFSA opinion supports the following health claim for Barliv® and other barley beta-glucans with average molecular weight between 100 and 2000 kDa: Barley beta-glucans have been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. At least three grams of barley beta-glucans should be consumed per day to obtain the claimed effect.
Barliv® barley betafiber (beta-glucan) is a soluble fiber extract that is invisible when added to foods and beverages. It is derived from whole grain barley and has been clinically shown to lower cholesterol. The high purity and low viscosity of Barliv® barley betafiber (beta-glucan) enable its use in an assortment of applications, from clear and carbonated beverages to snacks and cereals.
“In 2010, EFSA issued an Article 13 summary scientific opinion which confirmed the relationship between consuming beta-glucan and healthy blood cholesterol. This new Article 14 opinion further clarifies the ingredient’s role in sustaining good health by explaining its ability to lower or reduce blood cholesterol,” said Lore Kolberg, director, Cargill Scientific and Regulatory Affairs.
“This Article 14 health claim will further drive momentum of the development of new heart-healthy products to satisfy growing consumer demand,” said Olivier du Châtelier, EU sales director, Cargill Health & Nutrition.
The conditions for this health claim’s use are virtually identical to those for the existing U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized health claim for barley betafiber (beta-glucan). In 2008, the FDA authorized qualifying foods containing this ingredient to state: Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include three 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.
Watch for Barliv® barley betafiber (beta-glucan) to begin appearing on more food labels in Europe and the U.S., including beverages, cereals and snacks. For additional information, visit www.barliv.com.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 66 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 Cargill.com.