Cognitive health claims fail to meet EFSA standards.
With neurodegenerative disease rates expected to explode in the
decades to come, many food companies are focusing on cognitive health,
and searching for communication opportunities for cognitive health
claims. Naturalpha, an international consulting, scientific and clinical
research company in nutrition and health, has analyzed health claim
opinions released to date by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
This analysis provides the food industry with insight as to the
feasibility of future cognitive health claim opportunities. Since August
2008, 45 opinions have been released by EFSA concerning claims for
cognitive function, making this the sixth most common health topic in
terms of health claim applications. However, 76% of the claims received
an unfavorable opinion from EFSA. Naturalpha analyzed the repartition of
functional ingredients, observing for example that essential fatty acids
are the major ingredient class for this topic, probably due to the
growing amount of data linking omega 3 fatty acids and cognition.
Naturalpha also detailed the main reasons for EFSA criticism: study
design (89%), product characterization (4%), claim characterization and
wording (15%) and lack of studies in the appropriate target population
(13%). This type of analysis and insight aims to help food professionals
build relevant R&D and claims strategies.