Black tea and improvement of attention: evaluation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

Black tea, attention, caffeine,L-theanine, health claim
First published in the EFSA Journal
24. Mai 2018
Adopted
17. April 2018
Type
Scientific Opinion
Abstract

Following an application from Unilever NV, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Ireland, 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 black tea and improvement of attention. The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim based on newly developed scientific evidence. The food proposed by the applicant as the subject of the health claim is black tea. The Panel considers that black tea characterised by its content of tea solids, caffeine and l‐theanine, which is the subject of the health claim, is sufficiently characterised in relation to the claimed effect. The claimed effect proposed by the applicant is ‘improves attention’. The Panel considers that improvement of attention is a beneficial physiological effect. Three human intervention studies provided by the applicant show an effect of black tea on attention under the conditions of used proposed by the applicant. The applicant proposed that the claimed effect depends on the concerted action of two substances, caffeine and l‐theanine, both of which are present in black tea. The Panel considers that the effect of black tea on attention observed in the three human intervention studies provided by the applicant can be explained by its caffeine content. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of black tea and improvement of attention. The Panel considers that the effect of black tea on attention can be explained by its caffeine content. The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: ‘Owing to its caffeine content, black tea improves attention’. In order to obtain the claimed effect, 2–3 servings of black tea providing at least 75 mg of caffeine in total should be consumed within 90 min.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Jean-Louis Bresson, Barbara Burlingame, Tara Dean, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Karen Ildico Hirsch-Ernst, Inge Mangelsdorf, Harry J McArdle, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Kristina Pentieva, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Martin Stern, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck, Hendrik Van Loveren, Marco Vinceti and Peter Willatts.
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
Contact
nda [at] efsa.europa.eu
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5266
EFSA Journal 2018;16(5):5266
Question Number
On request from
Competent Authority of Ireland following an application by Unilever NV