Nutrition content claims and health claims

18 January 2013

A new Standard to regulate nutrition content claims and health claims on food labels and in advertisements became law on 18 January 2013. From this date food businesses in Australia and New Zealand have three years to meet the requirements of the new Standard 1.2.7 – Nutrition, Health and Related Claims.

Health claims must be based on food-health relationships that have been substantiated according to the Standard. Food businesses wanting to make a general level health claim will be able to base their claims on one of the more than 200 pre-approved food-health relationships in the Standard or the food business may self-substantiate a food-health relationship.

Foods carrying health claims must meet certain compositional requirements set out in the Standard, including the nutrient profiling scoring criterion (NPSC). Other conditions in the health claims Standard must also be met before a health claim can be made. Click to the link to find out more about the new standard and the different types of claims.

Self substantiation: Notification of food-health relationships for general level health claims

Under the Standard, food businesses self-substantiating a food-health relationship in order to make a general level health claim, must notify FSANZ of the relationship prior to making the claim on food labels or in advertisements for food. FSANZ will maintain a list of the notified food-health relationships. This will be a public record of food businesses that have chosen to self-substantiate a food-health relationship to underpin a general level health claim.

Food businesses are not able to use a relationship in the list that has been provided by another food business. A food business wishing to make a general level health claim based on a relationship that is already on the list must undertake its own systematic review and notify FSANZ of the relationship.

Read more information on the notification process for food businesses.

Nutrient profiling scoring criterion (NPSC)

Health claims will only be permitted on foods that meet the NPSC as set out in the Standard. For example, health claims will not be allowed on foods high in saturated fat, sugar or salt. Food businesses will be required to ensure a food meets a certain nutrient profiling score in order to make a health claim.

An online calculator is available to help food businesses determine a food’s nutrient profiling score.

(Source: www.foodstandards.gov.au )