Following an application from IDACE submitted pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of France, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to thiamine and normal carbohydrate and energy-yielding metabolism.
The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim referring to children’s development and health.
The food constituent that is the subject of the health claim is thiamine, which is a well recognised nutrient and is measurable in foods by established methods. The Panel considers that the food constituent, thiamine, which is the subject of the health claim, is sufficiently characterised.
The claimed effect is “vitamin B1 plays and important role in the carbohydrate and energy metabolism of food”. The proposed target population for the health claim is children from birth to three years. The Panel considers that normal carbohydrate and energy-yielding metabolism is a beneficial physiological effect.
The applicant provided four opinions of authoritative/scientific bodies and two review papers which were retrieved following a literature search in Pubmed. One of the reviews did not address the role of thiamine in carbohydrate and energy-yielding metabolism. The other review dealt with the role of B-vitamins in mitochondrial energy-yielding metabolism.
It is well recognised, that thiamine pyrophosphate, the active form of thiamine, is a cofactor of several enzymes involved in energy-yielding, branched-chain amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism.
On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of thiamine and normal carbohydrate and energy-yielding metabolism.
The Panel considers that the following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “Thiamine contributes to normal carbohydrate and energy-yielding metabolism.”
The Panel considers that, in order to bear the claim, follow-on formulae should comply with the criteria of composition of follow-on formulae as laid down in Directive 2006/141/EC, nutritionally complete foods for special medical purposes intended for use by infants and nutritionally complete foods for special medical purposes other than those intended for use by infants should comply with the criteria of composition of these foods as laid down in Directive 1999/21/EC, processed cereal-based foods for infants and young children should comply with the criteria of composition of these foods as laid down in Directive 2006/125/EC, other foodstuffs intended for infants and young children should provide at least 15 % of the reference values for nutrition labelling for foods intended for infants and young children as laid down in Directive 2006/125/EC, all other foodstuffs should be at least a source of thiamine as per Annex to Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. Such amounts can be easily consumed as part of a balanced diet. The target population is infants and children up to 18 years.