Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to “slowly digestible starch in starch-containing foods” and “reduction of post-prandial glycaemic responses” pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006
Competing interests: One member 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
Following an application from Kraft Foods Europe, submitted 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 was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to “slowly digestible starch in starch-containing foods” and “reduction of post-prandial glycaemic responses”. The food constituent, “slowly digestible starch (SDS)”, as defined by the applicant in applying an appropriate method (such as the method developed by Englyst et al. (1996; 1999)), which is the subject of the health claim, and the comparator food constituent, “rapidly digestible starch (RDS)”, as defined by the applicant, are sufficiently characterised in relation to the claimed effect. The claimed effect, reduction of post-prandial glycaemic responses (as long as post-prandial insulinaemic responses are not disproportionally increased), may be a beneficial physiological effect. The studies provided consistently showed that consumption of 40-50 % of digestible starch as “SDS” in cereal products containing about 55-70 % of available carbohydrates as starch and 30-45 % as sugars in the context of a meal providing at least 60 E% of available carbohydrates induced significantly lower post-prandial glycaemic responses (without leading to disproportionally increased post-prandial insulinaemic responses) than the consumption of all digestible starch as “RDS” in cereal products with a similar content of available carbohydrates, starch and sugars. Cereal products, however, providing around 30 % of digestible starch as “SDS” and containing around 70 % of available carbohydrates as starch and 30 % as sugars did not show such an effect. A cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of “SDS”, as compared to the consumption of “RDS”, in cereal products and reduced post-prandial glycaemic responses (without disproportionally increased post-prandial insulinaemic responses).