Swiss approval of DuPont probiotic claim may help open up European market

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 4th June 2014
DuPont has approval for a probiotic health claim in Switzerland

US-based agriculture and nutrition technology company DuPont has won approval for a probiotic health claim in Switzerland, saying it is the first ingredient company to receive such approval in Europe.

In close collaboration with a major Swiss grocer, DuPont Nutrition and Health has received approval from Switzerland’s Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) to market the ingredient Danisco HOWARU Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 probiotic as supporting digestion by reducing transit time.

“DuPont Nutrition & Health applauds the Swiss authorities for approving a structure function claim on scientifically backed Bifidobacterium lactis HN019,” said Fabienne Saadane-Oaks, Vice President Health and Protection, DuPont Nutrition & Health.

“Despite the regulatory challenges in Europe, DuPont continues to deliver scientifically proven data on the efficacy of our probiotics,” Ms Saadane-Oaks said.

The position taken by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)  in relation to probiotic health claims has historically been one of doubt. EFSA’s approach analyses approved claims under the three types of claims include criteria and wording. The term ‘Probiotic’ is considered a ‘Health Claim’ and was not permissible after 14th December 2012.

In October 2010, Australian Food News reported that Japanese probiotic dairy manufacturer Yakult had said it will continue to conduct human studies to back-up the health benefits of its probiotic products, after EFSA cast doubt on health claims for probiotics.

Ms Saadane-Oaks said the approval from Swiss authorities for DuPont’s probiotic health claim could be a significant step in opening up the market in Europe for products with probiotic health claims.

“This approval validates the strong evidence we have on the link between digestive health and probiotics – support for an important milestone that we hope prompts other countries to follow suit,” Ms Saadane-Oaks said. “Digestive comfort is an important benefit for consumers globally, and this approval creates new opportunities for food, beverage and dietary supplement marketers to promote this benefit to consumers,” she said.

DuPont’s probiotic business growing globally

DuPont said the approved claim would “provide confidence” on the benefits of its HN019™ product. The Company said it would be filing dossiers in other European countries as well.

Probiotics are a fast growing business for DuPont globally, in food, beverages and dietary supplements.  In addition to its HOWARU range,which includes the HOWARU Protect and HOWARU Restore products, DuPont has a range of other probiotic strains in its portfolio, including strains for “immune and digestive health”.

DuPont has over 40 years of experience in probiotics, and said that more than 70 clinical studies have included DuPont probiotic strains.  DuPont Nutrition and Health has more than 20 research and development facilities around the world.