Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related Immunofortis® and strengthening of the baby's immune system pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

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Article
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
Acknowledgements

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Claims for the preparation of this opinion: Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ines Golly, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Martinus Løvik, Ambroise Martin, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Hendrik van Loveren, Hans Verhagen and Susanne Krauss-Etschmann, and EFSA staff member Wolfgang Gelbmann for the support provided to this EFSA scientific output.

EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2010; 8(2):1430 [18 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1430
Panel members at the time of adoption
Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ines Golly, Hannu Korhonen, Pagona Lagiou, Martinus Løvik, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Bevan Moseley, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Stephan Strobel, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Hendrik van Loveren and Hans Verhagen. Five members of the Panel did not participate in the discussion on the subject referred to above because of potential conflicts of interest identified in accordance with the EFSA policy on declarations of interests
Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2008-106
Adopted
4 December 2009
Published
4 February 2010
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
Abstract

Following an application from Danone Baby Nutrition, submitted pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of The Netherlands, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to Immunofortis® to naturally strengthen the baby’s immune system. The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim referring to children’s development and health The Panel considered that the food constituent, Immunofortis®, a 9:1 mixture of short-chain galacto- and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides, was sufficiently characterised. The target population consisted of infants who were not breastfed or who were partially breastfed and who were less than 12 months old. The Panel considered that a well-functioning immune system includes the initiation of appropriate adaptive immune responses and an appropriate defence against pathogens and was a beneficial physiological effect.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that the one human intervention study investigating the effects of Immunofortis® on the incidence of atopic dermatitis and the overall cumulative incidence of infections had considerable limitations, that the evidence for an effect of Immunofortis® on the reduction of potentially pathogenic bacteria was inconsistent, that the evidence for an effect of Immunofortis® on immune function animal studies did not predict the occurrence of an effect in humans, and that the evidence presented in support of a biologically plausible mechanism by which Immunofortis® could exert the claimed effect was not convincing.

The Panel concluded that the evidence provided was insufficient to establish a cause and effect relationship between the consumption of Immunofortis® and the claimed effect of initiation of appropriate immune responses including the defence against pathogens.
 

Keywords
Galacto-oligosaccharides, fructo-oligosaccharides, Immunofortis®, infections, allergy, infants, infant formula
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Number of Pages
18