Nutrition and Health Claims
What about products with brand names or trade marks that could be considered as making a claim?
A trade mark, brand name or fancy name appearing in the labelling, presentation or advertising of a food could be considered a nutrition or health claim. In this case, it can be used without undergoing authorisation, provided that it is accompanied by a related, approved nutrition or health claim in that labelling, presentation or advertising.
Can any claims be made on alcoholic beverages?
Health claims are not allowed on beverages containing more than 1.2 % by volume of alcohol.
However, nutrition claims referring to low alcohol levels, or the reduction of the alcohol content, or the reduction of the energy content for beverages containing more than 1.2 % by volume of alcohol are permitted.
Is a general statement such as ‘for a healthy diet’ or ‘good for you’ considered a health claim?
Under Article 10 (3) reference to general non-specific benefits of the nutrient or food for overall good health or health related well-being may only be made if accompanied by a specific health claim. Therefore, these general claims are not required to be present on the list of approved claims on the condition that they are accompanied by an approved health claim.
The Commission have adopted guidelines for the implementation of specific conditions for health claims laid down in Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 in Commission Implementing Decision 2013/63/EU.
Can I use the nutrition claim ‘with no added sugars’ if my product contains artificial sweeteners?
Yes. According to the Annex of Regulation 1924/2006 the claim ‘with no added sugars’ can be used if the ‘product does not contain any added mono- or disaccharides or any other food used for sweetening purposes’. It is the opinion of the FSAI that ‘foodstuffs with sweetening properties’ refers to foods such as honey, sugars, glucose syrups, etc., but not refer to artificial sweeteners.
Can I use the nutrition claim ‘free from trans-fat’?
No. The Annex of permitted nutrition claims does not include this claim.
Can any food business operator (FBO) use the health claims from the Community list of health claims?
Yes, any FBO can use a health claim from the approved list provided they meet the conditions for the use of such a claim.
Are there any health claims which are never permitted?
Yes. The following health claims are not allowed:
- claims which suggest that health could be affected by not consuming the food;
- claims which make reference to the rate or amount of weight loss;
- claims which make reference to recommendations of individual doctors or health professionals; and other associations not referred to in Article 11 of the Regulation;
- claims which imply a food can treat, cure or prevent disease.
Is ‘contains antioxidants’ a health claim?
Yes. If in the naming of the 'substance' or 'category of substances' there is a description or indication of a functionality or effect on health the 'contain claim' is a health claim. In other words if the function is mentioned - even in the naming of a substance or substances - this relates to a health claim.
Is the term 'probiotic' a health claim?
Yes, the term 'probiotic' is considered a health claim. Read our FAQ on Probiotic Health Claims
Is the term ‘gluten free’ a health claim?
No. Rules for use of the term 'gluten-free' are set out in other legislation.
Is the claim ‘no artificial colours or preservatives’ covered under this legislation?
No. Labelling of additives is mandatory under appropriate EU legislation and would not therefore be classed as a nutrition and/or health claim.