Cocoa flavanols and endothelium-dependent vasodilation


cocoa flavanols, extract, endothelium-dependent vasodilation, health claims
First published in the EFSA Journal
5 May 2014
10 April 2014
Last Updated
22 July 2014. This version replaces the previous one/s.
Scientific Opinion

Following an application from Barry Callebaut Belgium NV, submitted pursuant to Article 19 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Belgium, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the modification of the authorisation of a health claim related to “cocoa flavanols help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow”, pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. The modification concerns an extension of the authorised conditions of use of the claim to a high-flavanols (HF) cocoa extract to be consumed in capsules, tablets or added to “other foods, including beverages”. Cocoa flavanols, which are the subject of the health claim, have been sufficiently characterised. Maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation is a beneficial physiological effect. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of cocoa flavanols in the HF cocoa extract (i.e. in capsules or tablets) and maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation. In order to obtain the claimed effect, 200 mg of cocoa flavanols should be consumed daily. This amount could be provided by less than one gram of HF cocoa extract in capsules or tablets, and can be consumed in the context of a balanced diet. The target population is the general population.

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 Journal 2014;12(5):3654 [13 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
Competent Authority of Belgium following an application by Barry Callebaut Belgium NV
Print on demand
Number of Pages