Statement on ‘toothkind’ juice drinks
Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver advice in relation to ‘toothkind’ juice drinks. The Panel was requested to consider whether conclusions for the substantiation of the beneficial effect, i.e. reduction of tooth demineralisation, can be drawn on the basis of studies which do not measure directly net demineralisation but measure the potential for demineralisation of enamel, e.g. reduced pH on dental plaque. The Panel considers that reduction of plaque pH immediately (within about 10 min) following a single consumption of a beverage is an appropriate measure of the potential of beverages for demineralisation of dental enamel. ‘Toothkind’ drinks have little or no potential for enamel demineralisation by this process, while typical sugar-containing non-alcoholic beverages do have the potential for demineralisation of dental enamel. However, the beneficial effect (reducing net tooth demineralisation) of replacing typical sugar-containing non-alcoholic beverages with ‘toothkind’ juice drinks was only shown to occur at a frequency of consumption of typical sugar-containing non-alcoholic beverages of 7 times daily. The Panel was also requested to consider whether the beneficial effect is shown or expected to be shown for less frequent consumers of conventional juice drinks and typical sugar-containing non-alcoholic beverages. The Panel considers that for people who consume conventional juice drinks or sugar-containing non alcoholic beverages and who are also frequent consumers of sugars and/or acids from other beverages and foods that can contribute to tooth demineralisation, a beneficial effect on maintaining tooth mineralisation may be expected by substitution of one or more servings of conventional juice drinks or sugar-containing non-alcoholic beverages with an equivalent number of servings of ‘toothkind’ juice drink. In the context of the claim, ‘reduction of tooth demineralisation’ has a similar meaning to ‘maintenance of tooth mineralisation’.