Winter 2003/4 Issue — Contents

Omega-3: concentrating the benefits

For people who don’t eat the recommended 1-2 portions of fish per week, fish oil concentrates provide a safe, effective and convenient way to obtain the health benefits of EPA and DHA. In this article, we discuss how high potency concentrates offer a number of advantages over standard fish oils.

It's a small world: US-based Council for Responsible Nutrition has influence reaching worldwide

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has approximately eighty member companies that manufacture and market dietary supplement ingredients and finished products internationally. With headquarters in Washington, D.C. we represent member companies in regulatory, legislative and communications arenas, bringing a science-based perspective to the positions we take and the advice we provide.

Pet's beauty from within...
Nutraceuticals available to pet food

Infant formula, health food, pet food and animal feed have from a nutritional point of view many similarities. Each application tries to develop formula that have a beneficial effect on health status of both human and animals.

In this article we debate how the pet food and feed industry could make use of the knowledge obtained in the baby- and health food industry.

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Omega-3: concentrating the benefits

DHActive debuts in Europe

It’s a small world:

U.S.-based Council for Responsible Nutrition has influence reaching worldwide

CRN Members

Soy Isoflavones, responding to market needs

Hax Limited

Frutarom publishes good results

Reap the whole benefits with ADM’s Soybean Powder

JRS Review – FIE Frankfurt 2003/VITACEL® Seminar 2003

Ocean Spray Glycerates its flavoured fruit pieces

Los Angeles court strikes MM USA counterclaims against Degussa BioActives

Omega-3 PUFAs – Food for the Brain

Risk of Heart Disease reduced by Grape Seeds

What women need – L-Carnitine

ORAFTI's FeelGood Factors - scientific evidence continues to grow

Pet’s beauty from within...

Nutraceuticals available to pet food

The Healthy Fats

Pronova Biocare expands its factory in Ålesund, Norway EPAX ® in rapid change

Bitter Memories

Applying Genomics to improving protein hydrolysates

Phyto-oestrogens in foods:

Validation of a newly constructed phyto-oestrogen database

World Leader in Caramel Color announces technical sales force growth

Vitafoods discussion Forum

Wonderful Smooth SoyQuick

AB Enzymes’ New Product Developments in the VERON Family

Cysteine Peptide gives energy, motivation and helps people sleep

Is Your Product Export-Fit?

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Consumer and industry interest in the health promotion and disease prevention properties of foods has never been higher. Despite the avid introduction of new foods and dietary supplements, this industry remains somewhat risky. Labeling and health claim regulations are quite different between countries, and in many cases, clear guidelines for processors do not exist. Could standardized definitions for nutraceuticals and functional foods streamline the regulatory process and aid companies in rapid, successful market launches?

In October, 2003, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), a nonprofit organization composed of over 35 scientific societies and individual, student, company, nonprofit, and associate society members, issued the report Nutraceuticals for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Six scientists, including myself, representing a variety of disciplines, developed the report to address issues pertaining to this sometimes controversial topic. Discussions among our small committee were lively, if not always in agreement. We chose to define nutraceuticals as "nutrients and non-nutrient compounds in food that have healthpromoting, disease-preventive, or medicinal properties." Nutraceuticals may be purified or concentrated to produce dietary supplements, or they may be added to processed foods to increase the amounts of nutrients and non-nutrients in the diet. Nutraceuticals could encompass both food and dietary supplements.

The CAST report made several recommendations with respect to policy and to research:

  • "Legally define the term nutraceuticals to provide guidance to the industry and to decrease consumer confusion.
  • Clarify the process for documenting the health benefits of nutraceuticals.
  • Increase research funding for both basic and applied studies related to nutraceuticals.
  • Establish new funding categories and expand existing ones for nutraceuticals within USDA and NIH competitive grant programs.
  • Improve communication of nutraceutical benefits and risks to consumers. nutraceuticals and health-protectant chemicals.
  • Identify appropriate human biomarkers to evaluate the effectiveness of dietary nutraceuticals.
  • Gain more understanding of factors affecting the bioavailability of nutraceuticals.
  • Develop guidelines for producers to enhance nutraceutical benefits of their crops or animals without compromising sensory quality and cost effectiveness.
  • Devise technologies to inhibit nutraceutical degradation in foods during processing and storage.
  • Gain an improved understanding of educational and psychological barriers to consumer adoption of nutraceuticals.”

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented a "Qualified Health Claim" process in the latter half of 2003. Although nutraceuticals and functional foods are not specifically mentioned in the agency’s documents, the claims approved thus far address relationships between specific nutrients or foods and diseases such as cancer and heart disease. FDA is still seeking comments on this new class of claims, and new petitions with their supporting materials are posted on the agency’s Web site. Petitions are being addressed by FDA according to the benefits posed by the subject of the petition, strength of the data presented and other criteria. Faced with pressure to provide more health claim options for the food industry as a result of the 1999 Pearson versus Shalala case, FDA introduced the qualified claims without studying their impact on consumers. In some respects, the status of nutraceuticals seems even more complicated today for both consumers and the industry. Both groups could benefit from a definition of these products and clear explanations of the benefits and risks of their consumption. International harmonization may be a distant goal, but legal actions need to keep pace with rapid advances in nutrition research. I suspect we have only just begun to understand the role of food components in human health.

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