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Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. Dr Lionel Noah.

Sanofi Aventis Group. Dr Delphine Saulnier. Dr Luc Sterkman. Caelus Health. Dr Berenike Stracke. Dr Michela Miani.

Probiotic health claims ruled unproven

ILSI Europe. Michiel Kleerebezem — Chair. TBA — Vice-Chair. Dr Peter Bron. BE-Basic Foundation.

Dr Gabriele Gross. Colin Hill. University College Cork. Dr Sarah Lebeer. University of Antwerp.

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Dr Arthur Ouwehand. Dr Reetta Satokari. University of Helsinki. Deciphering a Probiotic Product Label.

Probiotic Health Claims | FAQs | The Food Safety Authority of Ireland

US Version. Fermented Foods. Email : info null isappscience. March 20, Minimum viable numbers of each probiotic strain at the end of the shelf-life, typically expressed in colony forming units cfu. Note: in practice, products often give a total count for all strains combined. In this case it is not possible to know if all strains in a product are at roughly the same level or at very different levels.

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The suggested serving size or dose must deliver the effective dose of probiotics related to any health benefit communicated on the label. See related infographics: Deciphering a Probiotic Product Label. Britain's Food Standards Agency collected more than 4, claims from the UK industry; across Europe, some 44, claims were submitted. EFSA scientists, who were taken by surprise by the volume of claims, whittled these down to 4, for detailed assessment.

The opinions published today were the lastest in a series of rulings. The EFSA had already published five opinions on claims relating to probiotics, all negative, although a spokeswoman said EFSA scientists "avoid using the term probiotics", since it has no proper scientific meaning. Danone, the market leader in probiotic products, withdrew its claims that Actimel and Activia boosted the immune system and aided digestive health from the EFSA process after the scientists' earlier negative rulings on other manufacturers' products.

It has since dropped most of the "immune health" claims from its advertising, and it currently has just one technical claim awaiting EFSA assessment: that "fermented milk that contains the probiotic Lactobacillus casei reduces the presence of Clostridium difficile toxins in the gut associated with the incidence of acute diarrhoea".


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Today's EFSA rulings represent a serious blow to the food industry, which has invested heavily in new, so-called functional foods such as probiotics. These typcially sell for high margins, and enable manufacturers to differentiate their products from those of competitors in a crowded market.