European Union: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Rule that Chocolate IS Good for You :-)
On 17th July, in Parma, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) published the results of their study “Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to cocoa flavanols and maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006” (EFSA Journal) which had been conducted following an application from Barry Callebaut, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products with headquarters in Zurich (Switzerland) and Wieze (Belgium). As part of the application Barry Callebaut provided evidence, supporting their claim that cocoa flavanols (contained in cocoa powder or dark chocolate) positively influence blood circulation in the human body, to EFSA. The evidence had been obtained through the human clinical studies (in excess of 20) that had been conducted by Barry Callebaut since 2005. These studies, which examined various impacts of cocoa flavanols on the human body, used cocoa powder and chocolate products that had been made through its own developed ACTICOA® process which the company claims results in high-flavanol cocoa products.
After researching the data supplied EFSA stated “The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of cocoa flavanols and maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation. The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “Cocoa flavanols help maintain endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which contributes to normal blood flow”. In order to obtain the claimed effect, 200 mg of cocoa flavanols should be consumed daily. This amount could be provided by 2.5 g of high-flavanol cocoa powder or 10 g of high-flavanol dark chocolate, both of which can be consumed in the context of a balanced diet. The target population is the general population.” (EFSA Journal)
This was welcome news for Barry Callebaut, which supplies food companies such as Nestle and Hershey, as the Swiss group will have the right to use the cocoa flavanols claim for five years within all European Union Member States once the EU Commission further approves the health claim. In addition Barry Callebaut’s customers, which use its high-flavanol cocoa products in theirs (chocolate drinks, cereal bars and biscuits) would be able to state similar health claims on their packaging thus gaining a competitive advantage. Juergen Steinemann, CEO of Barry Callebaut, said: “It is very valuable for us to now have an official positive Scientific Opinion from the European Food Safety Authority that cocoa flavanols have a positive effect on human blood flow. As the first company receiving such a health claim, we see new market potential both for us and for our customers. The health claim is also a reward for our long years of extensive research in the benefits of cocoa flavanols on the human body.” (www.barry-callebaut.com)
The European Food Safety Authority, based in Parma in Italy, “was set up in January 2002, following a series of food crises in the late 1990s, as an independent source of scientific advice and communication on risks associated with the food chain. EFSA was created as part of a comprehensive programme to improve EU food safety, ensure a high level of consumer protection and restore and maintain confidence in the EU food supply.” (EFSA)
Last Updated (Wednesday, 19 September 2012 11:36)