Current status of nutrition & health claims in philippines
HELENA S. ALCARAZ, RND, MSc.
FDA Philippines has adopted theCodex Guidelines on use of Health andNutrition Claims since January 2007These guidelines shall be used inaddition to the existing national lawson labelling
The only nutrition claims allowed arethose relating to the energy, protein,carbohydrate, fat and its components,fiber, sodium, vitamins and mineralswith Nutrient Reference Value (NRV)The NRV is based on the local RDA or theRecommended Energy and NutrientIntake (RENI)
Nutrient content claims should conform to the Table of Conditions for nutrient content.Example:Claim Conditions (not > than)Low Fat 3 g per 100 g (solids) 1.5. g per 100 ml (liquids)Fat Free 0.5 g per 100 g (solids) or per 100 ml (liquids)
Where a food is by its nature low in orfree of the nutrient that is the subject ofthe claim, the term describing thenutrient should not precede the name ofthe food but will be expressed as thefollowing: for example, “ a low caloriefood”, “ a cholesterol-free food’
CONDITIONS FOR COMPARATIVE CLAIMS: State the amount of difference in the energy value or nutrient content. Indicate the following: a) The amount of difference related to the same quantity (%, fraction or amount). Full details should be given. b) The identity of the food to which the food is being compared
Relative difference of at least 25% in theenergy value or nutrient content. 10%difference for micronutrient between thecompared food and a minimum absolutedifference in the energy value or nutrientcontentThe criteria for the claims “light” and“reduced” are the same.
CONDITIONS FOR HEALTH CLAIMS: -Must be based on current relevant and scientific facts and the level of proof is sufficient to support the claimed effect and the relationship to health. -Must be acceptable to the competent authority where the food is sold. -The claimed benefit should arise from the consumption of a reasonable quantity of the food or food constituent.
-If the claimed benefit is attributed to a nutrient with established reference value, the food should be:1. Source of or high in the nutrient/constituent2. Low in or reduced in or free of the nutrient/food constituent Only those essential nutrients for which Nutrient Reference Values have been established should be the subject of a nutrient function claim.
-Should have a clear regulatoryframework for qualifying and/ordisqualifying conditions for eligibility touse. Claims that increase the risk ofdisease or adverse health-relatedconditions are prohibited. - Must have a validated method toquantify the food constituent that formsthe basis of the claim.
Statement of the quantity of any nutrientor other constituent of the foodThe target group if appropriateHow to use the food to obtain the claimedbenefit & other lifestyle factors or otherdietary sources, where appropriate.If appropriate, advice to vulnerablegroups on how to use the food & togroups, if any who need to avoid the food.
: Maximum safe intake of the food or food constituent How the food or food constituent fits within the context of the total diet. Statement on the importance of maintaining a healthy diet.
Enriched or fortified foodsBottled Water specifically mineral water
Concept of Nutrient Profiling or SignPosting is relatively new in the regulationof nutrition labeling of food productsbeing distributed in the PhilippinesThere is a need to conduct localassessment studies to determine theimpact of sign posting to consumers andprovide insight on the added benefit, ifany
Mandatory Nutrition Labelling iscurrently being proposed by theDepartment of Health. However, thereare several factors to consider before itwill be imposed.The use of sign posting on the labelsmaybe considered based on the results ofconsumer research studies. However, theuse will be on a voluntary basis.Good for You Seal-pass the criteria for thelevels of fat, sodium, fiber and sugar