Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to zinc and normal growth pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

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Article
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2014;12(11):3891 [8 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2014.3891
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.
Acknowledgements

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Claims: Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Ambroise Martin, Hildegard Przyrembel, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Hendrik Van Loveren, Hans Verhagen and Peter Willatts for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion.

Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
Member State - France
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2008-190
Adopted
30 October 2014
Published
19 November 2014
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
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Abstract

Following an application from Specialised Nutrition Europe (formerly IDACE), submitted pursuant to Article 14 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 zinc and normal growth. The food constituent, zinc, which is the subject of the health claim, is sufficiently characterised. Normal growth is a beneficial physiological effect for infants and young children. The Panel considers that the role of zinc in normal growth is well established. Growth retardation is one of the clinical manifestations of severe zinc deficiency. Zinc supplementation has been reported to stimulate growth and development in zinc-deficient infants and young children. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of zinc and normal growth. The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “zinc contributes to normal growth”. The target population is infants and children up to three years of age.

Summary

Following an application from Specialised Nutrition Europe (formerly IDACE), submitted for the authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 14 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 this health claim related to zinc and normal growth.

The scope of the application was proposed to cover a health claim relating to children’s development and health.

The food constituent that is the subject of the health claim is zinc, which is an essential nutrient and is measurable in foods by established methods. The Panel considers that zinc is sufficiently characterised.

The claimed effect proposed by the applicant is “zinc is essential for growth”. The target population proposed by the applicant is infants and young children from birth to three years of age. The Panel considers that normal growth is a beneficial physiological effect for infants and young children.

The Panel considers that the role of zinc in normal growth is well established. Growth retardation is one of the clinical manifestations of severe zinc deficiency. Zinc supplementation has been reported to stimulate growth and development in zinc-deficient infants and young children.

The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of zinc and normal growth.

The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “zinc contributes to normal growth”.

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 2006/141/EC. Such amounts can easily be consumed as part of a balanced diet. The target population is infants and children up to three years of age. A Tolerable Upper Intake Level has been established for zinc in this age group.

Keywords
zinc, infants, children, growth, health claims
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Number of Pages
8