EFSA HEALTH CLAIM OPINIONS

EFSA rejects health claims for fruit juice, water

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Disease risk reduction Water Juice functional beverage beverage

EFSA rejects claim linking calcium-fortified juices and tooth demineralisation
EFSA rejects claim linking calcium-fortified juices and tooth demineralisation
The European Food Safety Authority health claims panel has turned in two negative opinions for separate claims that sought to link calcium-fortified fruit juice and tooth demineralisation; and water consumption and dehydration.

EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) found the article 14 disease risk reduction juice-tooth demineralisation claim had not been properly assessed in any of the 37 studies submitted by Dutch company, FrieslandCampina.

The water-dehydration article 14 claim submitted by two German professors was rejected because dehydration was deemed a “measure of disease”​ and not a disease risk reduction factor, and therefore not permissible under the nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).

Juice-tooth mineralisation

FrieslandCampina’s claim related to the replacement of regular juices with orange, apple, mandarin, forest fruit and multi-fruit juices with a pH <4.0 (3.6-3.9) and containing at least 200mg of calcium per litre and 9.2-11.4 g of sugar per 100 ml.

The dossier referenced 15 observational studies on the prevalence of dental erosion in children and adults in Europe, three reviews on mechanisms for dental erosion, six intervention studies (RCT) on the erosive potential of fruit juices and other acidic drinks with and without added calcium in situ, ​12 in vitro ​studies on the erosive potential of fruit juices and other acidic drinks with and without added calcium, including one unpublished, confidential study, and one animal study on the effect of calcium added to acidic drinks on dental erosion in rats.

After assessing this evidence, the NDA, while acknowledging that reducing food-induced tooth demineralisation was beneficial, found: “…the potential of fruit juices with and without added calcium for demineralisation of dental enamel, including the possible effects of both acids and sugars, has not been assessed appropriately.”

“The Panel notes that the potential of fruit juices with and without added calcium for demineralisation of dental enamel by acid production in plaque as a result of sugar fermentation was not assessed in any study.”

FrieslandCampina had submitted three proposed wordings: “Reduced risk for dental erosion”; “Mild for your teeth”; “Less erosive than fruit juices and drinks without added calcium”.

FrieslandCampina was not available for comment at the time of publication.

The opinion can be found here.

Water-dehydration

The two professors - Dr Moritz Hagenmeyer and Dr Andreas Hahn – proposed the claim: “Regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance”.

After dialogue with the NDA to clarify the disease risk reduction factors, the professors proposed, “water loss in tissues” ​or “reduced water content in tissues”​ as risk factors in the development of dehydration.

But the Panel found these were “measures of water depletion and thus are measures of the disease (dehydration).”

It therefore concluded: “…the proposed claim does not comply with the requirements for a disease risk reduction claim pursuant to [the NHCR].”

That opinion can be found here.

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