Background: While functional foods offer promise for public health and innovation in the industry, the efficiency of such products should be assured to protect consumers from misleading claims. Globally, many countries regulate the communication of the health effects of such foods to final consumers. Scope and Approach: In the European Union (EU), the use of health claims was harmonized in 2006. All claims need to be scientifically assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and pre-approved. Implementing the regulation has involved a steep learning curve for stakeholders, resulting in many health claims being rejected. The EU-funded REDICLAIM project used existing guidance documents, analyses of Scientific Opinions on new health claim applications, and a series of interviews with experts involved in such applications to identify key points in the process of authorizing new health claims. Key Findings and Conclusions: Recommendations for the successful substantiation of new health claims in the EU were prepared. The substantiation of health claims is primarily based on human efficacy studies, and greater resources are required to authorize more innovative claims. The reported recommendations should be seen as a starting point for researchers in the area of nutrition, food technology and pharmacy, and for those dealing with functional foods, including the industry.
The consumption of sugars, particularly sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs; beverages or drinks that contain added caloric sweeteners (ie, sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates), in European children and adolescents exceeds current recommendations. This is of concern because there is no nutritional requirement for free sugars, and infants have an innate preference for sweet taste, which may be modified and reinforced by pre- and postnatal exposures. Sugar-containing beverages/free sugars increase the risk for overweight/obesity and dental caries, can result in poor nutrient supply and reduced dietary diversity, and may be associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular risk, and other health effects. The term "free sugars," includes all monosaccharides/disaccharides added to foods/beverages by the manufacturer/cook/consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey/syrups/unsweetened fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. Sugar naturally present in intact fruits and lactose in amounts naturally present in human milk or infant formula, cow/goat milk, and unsweetened milk products is not free sugar. Intake of free sugars should be reduced and minimised with a desirable goal of (5% energy intake in children and adolescents aged ≥2 to 18 years. Intake should probably be even lower in infants and toddlers (2 years. Healthy approaches to beverage and dietary consumption should be established in infancy, with the aim of preventing negative health effects in later childhood and adulthood. Sugar should preferably be consumed as part of a main meal and in a natural form as human milk, milk, unsweetened dairy products, and fresh fruits, rather than as SSBs, fruit juices, smoothies, and/or sweetened milk products. Free sugars in liquid form should be replaced by water or unsweetened milk drinks. National Authorities should adopt policies aimed at reducing the intake of free sugars in infants, children and adolescents. This may include education, improved labelling, restriction of advertising, introducing standards for kindergarten and school meals, and fiscal measures, depending on local circumstances.
Little is known about the molecular mechanism of the 2R3-M RYB transcriptional repressors involved in plant phenylpropanoid metabolism important for the synthesis of rutin and quercetin in Tartary buckwheat. Here, we described one R2R3-type MYB repressor, FtMYB11 from Fagopyrum tataricum. It contains the SID-like motif GGDFNFDL and it is regulated by both the importin protein ‘Sensitive to ABA and Drought 2’ (SAD2) and the jasmonates signalling cascade repressor JAZ protein. These research results are important to understand and regulate the synthesis of buckwheat substances involved in phenylpropanoid metabolism, including rutin and quercetin. The results are of importance for understanding metabolism of nutritionally important flavonoids rutin and quercetin. Based on high concentration of rutin and quercetin Tartary buckwheat is nutritionally rich functional food material.
A voluntary gradual reduction in the salt content of processed foods was proposed Slovenia in 2010. Our objective was to determine the sodium content of prepacked foods in 2015 and to compare these results with data from 2011. Labelled sodium content and 12-month sales data were collected for prepacked foods (N = 5759) from major food stores in Slovenia. The average and sales-weighted sodium content, as well as the share in total sodium sales (STSS) were calculated for different food category levels, particularly focusing on processed meat and derivatives (STSS: 13.1%; 904 mg Na/100 g), bread (9.1%; 546 mg), cheese (5.1%; 524 mg), and ready-to-eat meals (2.2%; 510 mg). Reduced sale-weighted sodium content was observed in cheese (57%), a neutral trend was observed in processed meat and derivatives (99%) and bread (100%), and an increase in sodium content was found in ready meals (112%). Similar trends were observed for average sodium levels, but the difference was significant only in the case of ready meals. No statistically significant changes were observed for the matched products, although about one-third of the matched products had been reformulated by lowering the sodium level by more than 3.8%. Additional efforts are needed to ensure salt reduction in processed foods in Slovenia. Such efforts should combine closer collaboration with the food industry, additional consumer education, and setting specific sodium content targets (limits) for key food categories.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural constituent of foods and is also often used in functional foods, supplements and cosmetics, claiming a number of potential benefitial effects, includion related with skin condition. However, the existing data about the effect of dietary intake of CoQ10 on skin parameters and condition are scarce. To gain an insight into this issue, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment with 33 healthy subjects. Our objective was to investigate the effects of 12 weeks of daily supplementation with 50 mg and 150 mg of CoQ10 on skin parameters and condition. While the results of some previous in vitro studies showed possible protection in UVB response, we did not observe significant changes in the minimal erythema dose. Supplementation with CoQ10 did also not significantly affect skin hydration and dermis thickness. On the other hand, the intake of CoQ10 limited seasonal deterioration of viscoelasticity.