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Bitten: Long-awaited sugar replacement tooth claim enters EU law books

EU-approved smile: 'Consumption of food/drinks containing Nutriose instead of sugar may help maintain tooth mineralisation by decreasing tooth demineralisation’.' ©iStock

Almost three years after winning a positive EFSA opinion linking sugar replacement and tooth health, the claim has been written into EU law books.

French supplier Roquette is the beneficiary of the article 13.5 allegation under the 2006 EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).

The official claim states non-fermentable carbohydrates like Roquette’s Nutriose-branded, wheat and corn starch-derived maltidextrose can help maintain tooth mineralisation when replacing fermentable carbohydrates like sugar in foods and drinks.

It states: “Consumption of food/drinks containing Nutriose instead of sugar may help maintain tooth mineralisation by decreasing tooth demineralisation’.

The ruling says the approved claim is relevant at “an exposure frequency of four or more times daily” and “provided that such foods or beverages do not lead to dental erosion.”

This meant not lowering plaque pH below 5.7 during and up to 30 minutes after consumption.

The claim notes it is not exclusive to maltidextrose as other sugar replacers like xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, lactitol, isomalt, erythritol, D-tagatose, isomaltulose, sucralose and polydextrose have already won EFA approval.

"The quality and scientific rigour of the Roquette Group have been acknowledged by experts on the Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)," the French firm said.

In the same ruling, Nutriose has been authorised for its blood glucose-modulating effects along with Beneo-Orafti, Sensus, Cosucra for a joint fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) from inulin claim and another from French player Olygose for oligosaccharides.

Prebiotic Nutriose is typically used in calorie-reduced biscuits, bars, beverages, dairy and food supplements.

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