Nutrition claim are claims describing the beneficial nutritional content of foodstuffs. The beneficial nutritional property referred to in a nutrition claim can be related to:
The energy the food
- provides at a reduced or increased rate or
- does not provide
The nutrients and other substances the food
- contains in reduced or increased proportions or
- does not contain.
Authorised nutrition claims are described in the Annex to the Regulation on nutrition and health claims and in its Amendments. An up-to-date list of nutrition claims is provided on the web site of the European Commission.
Claims likely to have the same meaning for the consumer as the claims listed in the Annexes to the Regulations are also permitted. Finnish Food Authority has collected examples of claim wordings that it considers to have the same meaning. Operators who use some other wordings must verify that the wording has the same meaning for the consumer.
The use of a nutrition claim always requires the indication of the nutritional information. Nutrition declaration shall be made according to reguirements in the regulation (EC) No 1169/2011 on food information to consumers article 30.
Preconditions for use of nutrition claims
As concerns nutrition claims, the Regulation defines the required content of the nutrient in the food for a nutrition claim to be made. The claim may be used in the labelling or marketing of products provided the conditions of use of the claim are fulfilled in the product and in the labelling.
- For example, a claim that a food is a source of fibre may only be made where the product contains at least 3 g of fibre per 100 g or at least 1.5 g of fibre per 100 kcl.
- A claim that a food is a source of a vitamin or mineral may only be made where the product contains at least 15% of the reference value of the daily intake as set out in the Annex to the Labelling Regulation.
- Similarly, the claim ‘high in’ may only be made where the product contains at least 30% of the daily intake reference value.
Finnish Food Authority is of the view that nutrition and health claims can be made on both processed and unprocessed foods provided the food fulfils the conditions of the use of the claim, the claim is used in compliance with the requirements of the Claims Regulation and the consumer is not misled. Thus, the claim "source of protein", for example, could be used on meat, or the claim "contains b-carotene" on carrots.
Claims not considered nutrition claims
Information on the quality or quantity of a nutrient, which is required elsewhere in legislation, is not construed as a nutrition claim. For example, indications of the fat content of cheeses and certain sausages are not construed as nutrition claims.
Labelling regarding constituents, which have or have not been used in the manufacture of the product, and labelling that describes the properties of constituents, is not considered a nutrition claim either:
- sweetened (note that claims ‘sugar-free’, ‘no added sugars’ and also ‘without added sugar’, on the other hand, are nutrition claims)
- sweetened with Xylitol/fructose
- no fat used in manufacture
- does not contain milk constituents
- lactose-free, low lactose
- gluten-free, very low gluten
Prohibited nutrition claims
Nutrition claims that are not authorised pursuant to the Claims Regulation and may not be used include the following, for example:
- cholesterol-free, low-cholesterol
- does not contain trans fatty acids, 0% trans fats
- super-light, ultralight
- "equal to" comparisons
- more vitamin C
- vitamin D doubled
- 50% more calcium