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Food for special medical purposes

The rules for the composition and labelling of foods intended for the dietary management (under medical supervision) of individuals who suffer from certain diseases, disorders or medical conditions have been laid down by the Commission Directive 1999/21/EC.

These foods are intended for the exclusive or partial feeding of people whose nutritional requirements cannot be met by normal foods. The Directive 1999/21/EC lays down general requirements on the composition and gives guidance for the minimum and maximum levels of vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional substances that may be used in the manufacture of foods for special medical purposes are laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 953/2009.

What will the new Regulation on Food for Specific Groups do for foods for special medical purposes from 20 July 2016?

  • Set general compositional and labelling rules

  • Require the Commission to adopt through delegated act specific compositional and labelling rules for foods for special medical purposes including for infants. This delegated act will replace Directive 1999/21/EC.