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NUTRITION

Equivalence claims among topics covered during PFNDAI seminar session
Thursday, 09 November, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Harcha Bhaskar, Mumbai
Equivalence claims are those wherein nutrient comparisons are made between product. For instance, the Vitamin C content in eight ounces of orange juice. This, and the other types of claims, were a part of the presentation, titled Nutrient content and comparative claims, made by K K Joshi, head, regulatory, ITC Foods, at the Protein Foods and Nutrition Development Association of India (PFNDAI) seminar, held in Mumbai recently.

The theme of the seminar was Nutrients and Health Claims of Food Products. Joshi stated, “The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is in the process of harmonising the Indian food safety standards with the best practices across the world, including Codex, and other developments in the food service sector.”

“The country’s apex food regulator has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) to curb the menace of misleading advertisement,” he added.

The seminar kicked off with a welcome speech by Bhupinder Singh, chairman, PFNDAI, and managing director, Vista Foods.

B Sesikeran, former director, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, and president, Nutrition Society of India (NSI), gave a introductory speech on the seminar, outlining the various topics that would be covered in the sessions.

The topic for the first session, which was chaired by V Mohan, partner, Intro AdvoCare, was Claims - Global view.

Jasvir Singh, regulatory, scientific and government affairs leader, South Asia, DuPont, spoke about Structure - Function claim.

He added, “Functional claims can be for both dietary supplements and conventional foods. The functional claims can be related to the functions of the development of the body, referring to psychological and behavioural findings, on slimming or weight control.”

“While labelling, most of the entrepreneurs find it difficult to first understand the benefits of the product, then design it and, subsequently, convey it to the consumers,” Singh said.

“Claim should protect consumers. They should provide more information about the food, should respect fair competition and trade and protect innovation. And, most importantly, they should be in compliance with Codex,” he added.

J L Lewis, regulatory consultant, touched upon Claims - An introduction, an overall perspective.

The second session focused on various aspects of health claims. V Sudershan Rao, former deputy director, NIN, and chairman, additives panel, FSSAI, focused on disease risk reduction claims.

He stated, “Disease risk reduction claims are a part of health claims. It is a need now to understand the essentials of making claims, as more and more products are likely to hit the market.”

“The essentials for making disease risk reduction claims are they have to be clear, accurate and based on scientific evidence,” Rao added.

“Substantiation is also a basic requirement for a claim. Mostly, the procedure for the substantiation of health claims is prescribed by Codex and followed majorly,” he said.

“To obtain claim benefits, the nutrition per serving should be mentioned. It should also mention the portion that has to be consumed to gain the claimed benefit,” Rao added.

Sanyal, head, worldwide regulatory, government and industry affairs, Herbalife, spoke about Health supplements: Claims in Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2016.
 
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