Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to non digestible carbohydrates and a reduction of post prandial glycaemic responses pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006
Following an application from Beneo-Orafti SA, Sensus BV and Cosucra-Groupe Warcoing SA, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Belgium, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) from inulin and a reduction of post-prandial glycaemic responses. Non-digestible carbohydrates including FOS are resistant to hydrolysis and absorption in the small intestine and do not contribute to post-prandial glycaemia. This opinion applies to non-digestible carbohydrates (e.g. non-starch polysaccharides, resistant oligosaccharides and resistant starch) which should replace sugars in foods or beverages in order to obtain the claimed effect. The Panel considers that the food constituent, non-digestible carbohydrates, which is the subject of the health claim, and the food constituent (i.e. sugars) that non-digestible carbohydrates should replace in foods or beverages, are both sufficiently characterised in relation to the claimed effect. The Panel considers that a reduction of post-prandial glycaemic responses might be a beneficial physiological effect. In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that consumption of non-digestible carbohydrates results in reduced post-prandial blood glucose (and insulinaemic) responses compared with the consumption of sugars on a weight-by-weight basis owing to the non-digestibility in the small intestine and to a decrease in the amount of available carbohydrates, and that the consumption of foods/drinks in which non-digestible carbohydrates replaced sugars induced lower post-prandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses than sugar-containing foods/drinks. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of foods/beverages containing non-digestible carbohydrates instead of sugar and a reduction of post-prandial glycaemic responses as compared to sugar-containing foods/beverages.