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Cargill welcomes EU barley beta-glucan-cholesterol claim as innovation driver

19-Jan-2012

Agrofood giant Cargill is alerting the world to look out for more food labels bearing its Barliv-branded barley beta-glucan in 2012 after winning a positive cholesterol-lowering opinion from the European Union science agency last month.

The opinion is likely to enter EU lawbooks shortly after passing through the European Commission committee phase, a reality that will allow Cargill, and Slovenian company Valens Int to tout European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)-approved cholesterol-lowering among 27 EU member states and 500m people.

“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 at Cargill Health & Nutrition.

The company said beverages, cereals and snacks were likely candidates for new product development in an increasingly crowded EFSA-approved, cholesterol-lowering space that included plant sterols and stanols and oat beta-glucans.

There is already an article 13, general function claim approved by EFSA’s health claims panel but that relates to barley beta-glucans (and oat beta-glucans) and the maintenance of normal cholesterol levels rather than any proactive reduction as with the article 14 opinions.

The EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) opinion states: “Barley beta-glucans have been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.”

It stipulates, “At least 3 g of barley beta-glucans should be consumed per day in order to obtain the claimed effect.”

Cargill’s dossier contained 16 scientific references.

“In 2010, EFSA issued an Article 13 summary scientific opinion which confirmed the relationship between consuming beta-glucan and healthy blood cholesterol,” said Lore Kolberg, director of scientific and regulatory affairs.

“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.”

The Cargill article 14, cholesterol-lowering opinion can be found here.

The article 13, maintenance of normal cholesterol opinion can be found here.

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