“Non-fermentable” carbohydrates and maintenance of tooth mineralisation


Nutriose®, dietary fibre, non-fermentable carbohydrates, tooth mineralisation, tooth demineralisation, enamel, health claims
First published in the EFSA Journal
26 July 2013
10 July 2013
Scientific Opinion

Following an application from Roquette Frères, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of France, 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 Nutriose® which should replace “fermentable carbohydrates” in foods or beverages in order to obtain the claimed effect, i.e. maintenance of tooth mineralisation by reducing tooth demineralisation. From the information provided, the Panel noted that the main characteristic of carbohydrates which is relevant to the claimed effect is the rate and amount of acid production resulting from their fermentation by saccharolytic bacteria in the oral cavity. This Opinion applies to “non-fermentable” carbohydrates, which should replace “fermentable” carbohydrates in foods or beverages in order to obtain the claimed effect. The Panel considers that maintaining tooth mineralisation by reducing tooth demineralisation resulting from acid production in plaque caused by the fermentation of carbohydrates is a beneficial physiological effect. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of foods/beverages containing “fermentable” carbohydrates at an exposure frequency of four or more times daily and an increased tooth demineralisation, and that the consumption of foods/beverages containing “non-fermentable” carbohydrates instead of “fermentable” carbohydrates may maintain tooth mineralisation by decreasing tooth demineralisation. In order to bear the claim, “fermentable” carbohydrates should be replaced in foods or beverages by “non-fermentable” carbohydrates, so that consumption of such foods or beverages does not lower plaque pH below 5.7 during and up to 30 minutes after consumption, and does not lead to dental erosion.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Carlo Agostoni, Roberto Berni Canani, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Sébastien La Vieille, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Martin Stern, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck and Hans Verhagen
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
nda [at] efsa.europa.eu
EFSA Journal 2013;11(7):3329 [13 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
Competent Authority of France following an application by Roquette Frères
Print on demand
Number of Pages