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A process for the assessment of scientific support for claims on foods

Contract number : QLK1-2000-00086
Contract type : Concerted Action
Total cost : € 1.202.333
EC contribution : € 1.202.333
Starting date : 1/04/2001
Duration : 48 Months
Scientific Officer : Jürgen Lucas
Project website : passclaim
Dr Laura Contor
International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI)
European Branch
Avenue E. Mounier 83, Box 6
1200 Brussels
Tel.: +32-2-7710014
Fax: +32-2-7620044
E-mail: lcontor @

Claims for 'enhanced function' and 'reduced risk of disease' are only justifiable when they are based on appropriate, validated markers of exposure, enhanced function or reduction of disease risk. A European network will be set up involving experts from academia, representatives of public interest groups, regulatory experts and the food industry to start with, build upon and apply these suggested principles, arising out of the previous EU Concerted Action on Functional Food Science in Europe (FUFOSE).

  • To produce a generic tool with principles for assessing the scientific support for health-related claims for foods and food components which are eatable or drinkable
  • To evaluate critically the existing schemes which assess the scientific substantiation of claims.
  • To select common criteria for how markers should be identified, validated and used in well-designed studies to explore the links between diet and health
(expected) Results and achievements

A multidisciplinary European Network will be set up to critically assess the criteria currently used for the assessment of the scientific support for claims on foods. The project will be addressed by eight "Individual Theme Groups (ITGs)". Phase One ITGs include: (A) diet-related cardiovascular disease, (B) bone health and osteoporosis, (C) physical performance and fitness, (D) a review of existing schemes in different countries to substantiate the scientific basis for health-related claims. Phase Two ITGs include: (E) insulin sensitivity and risk of diabetes, (F) diet-related cancer, (G) mental state and performance and (H) gut health and immunity. Initially, 'Phase One' ITGs will focus on the above-mentioned physiological areas A-C and on the existing schemes (D). The reports of the four ITGs will be presented in the Plenary meeting and the Plenary will agree on a first draft set of interim criteria. The reports and the set of interim criteria will be published as Publication I and will be the basis for the discussions of the 'Phase Two' ITGs (E-H), who will review how these interim criteria can be used, and which new criteria are needed, in four different physiological areas. The Phase Two reports will be presented in the Second Plenary meeting and the Plenary will agree upon a draft set of wider interim criteria. This set of wider criteria will then be published together with the reports of ITG E to H as Publication II. A Consensus Group will use the Publication Packages I and II to propose draft consensus criteria for the scientific support for health related claims for food and food components. These will be reviewed and agreed by the Third Plenary Meeting and published in the PASSCLAIM Consensus Document, Publication III, which will be widely disseminated among the scientific, industrial, regulatory and consumer communities.

The project will impact on measures to improve the quality of life and health by providing consensus criteria, which will assure the validity of health effects and claims on foods for the population as a whole and for particular 'at risk' sub-groups. Harmonisation of the science base for health claims will lead to facilitation of the development of new food sources, ingredients or products. Agriculture will benefit because of nutritionally 'improved' products returning value to the producers. A common acceptance of the science base throughout all member states will improve the cohesion in the Union and will contribute to free trade of foods. An improved approach to the scientific support for claims on foods will enhance consumer confidence. Claims could help consumers to make a wise selection of appropriate amounts of foods, based on functionality, and therefore could help to contain healthcare costs. By using the generic tool for the scientific support for the functional properties used as the basis for health-related claims for foods and food components, industry and regulators can benefit from the more effective and economical use of scarce scientific resources.


Danone Vitapole
Centre International de Recherches Daniel Carasso CIRDC
15 Avenue Galilée
92350 Le Plessis-Robinson
Lund University
Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry
Getingevägen 60
PO Box 124
22100 Lund
University of Central Lancashire
Lancashire Postgraduate School of Medicine and Health
PR1 2HE Lancashire
United Kingdom
Procter & Gamble European Service GmbH
Industriestraße 32-34
65760 Eschborn
Federal Research Center for Nutrition
Institute of Nutritional Physiology
Haid-und-Neu-strasse, 9
76131 Karlsruhe
Nestlé Research Center
PO Box 44
1000 Lausanne Cedex 26
INSERM Unité 341
Génie Biomédical et Diabète Sucré
1 Place du Parvis Notre-Dame
75181 Paris Cedex 04
Unilever Research Vlaardingen
Unilever Health Institute
P.O. Box 114
3130 AC Vlaardingen
The Netherlands
University of Ulster
Northern Ireland Centre for Diet and Health
Cromore Road
BT52 1SA Coleraine
United Kingdom
Federal Research Centre for Nutrition
Institute of Nutritional Physiology
Haid-und-Neu-Straße 9
76131 Karlsruhe
Ludwig Maximilians-Universität München
Div Metabolic Diseases and Nutrition
Dept Paediatrics
Dr Von Haunersches Kinderspital
Lindwurmstraße 4
80337 München
Maastricht University
Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute
Department of Human Biology
Universiteitssingel 50
PO Box 616
6229 ER Maastricht
The Netherlands
Fundació per a la Recerca Biomedica Vall d'Hebron
Digestive System Research Unit
Hospital General Vall D'Hebron
Passeig Vall D'Hebron, 119-129
08035 Barcelona
Université d'Auvergne
Laboratoire de Nutrition Humaine
58 Rue Montalembert
PO Box 321
63009 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 1
Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Institut für Psychologie
Universitätsplatz 2
8010 Graz
Raffinerie Tirlemontoise
Aandorenstraat, 1
3300 Tienen
Université Catholique de Louvain
School of Pharmacy
Unit of Pharmacokinetics, Metabolism, Nutrition and Toxicology
Avenue E. Mounier 73
PO Box 73.69
1200 Bruxelles
Nutrinova Nutrition Specialties & Food Ingredients GmbH
Industriepark Hoechst
Building D706
65926 Frankfurt / Main
Red Bull GmbH
Brunn 115
5330 Fuschl am See
University of Helsinki
Department of Food Technology
Latokartanonkaari 9
PO Box 27
00014 Helsinki
Medical Research Council
Human Nutrition Research
Downhams Lane
Milton Road
CB4 1XJ Cambridge
United Kingdom
Nestle UK Ltd
Nutrition Business Unit
St. George's House
CR9 1NR Croydon, Surrey
United Kingdom
University of Helsinki
Dept. of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology
PO Box 27
00014 Helsinki
University of Oslo
The National Hospital of Norway
Rikshospitalet Liipat
Institute of Pathology
0027 Oslo
Federal Institute for Health
Protection of Consumers and Veterinary Medicine
Thielallee 88-92
14195 Berlin
Coca-Cola West Europe
1424 Chaussée de Mons
1070 Brussels
University of Leeds
PsychoBiology Group
LS2 9JT Leeds
United Kingdom
National Food Administration
P.O. Box 622
751 26 Uppsala
University of Dundee
Department of Molecular and Cellular Pathology
Ninewells Hospital and Medical School
DD1 9SY Dundee
United Kingdom
Mars Confectionery
Division of Mars U.K. Ltd.
Dundee Road
SL 4JX Slough, Berks
United Kingdom
Kellogg's Company of Great Britain Ltd.
The Kellogg Building
M16 OPU Manchester
United Kingdom
University of Oxford
Radcliffe Infirmary
The Oxford Lipid Metabolism Group
OX2 6HE Oxford
United Kingdom
Hôpital Saint-Vincent de Paul bat CED
Unité CNRS UPR 1524
75014 Paris
Institute of Food Research
Reading Laboratory
Early Gate
RG6 6BZ Reading
United Kingdom
Numico Research
Bosrandweg 20
6700 CA Wageningen
The Netherlands
74 West Hill
HA9 RS Middelsex
United Kingdom
University of Turku
Department of Paediatrics
P.O. Box 607
20520 Turku
University of Birmingham
School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
B15 2TT Birmingham
United Kingdom
Borculo Domo Ingredients r & d
P.O. Box 8
9410 AA Beilen
The Netherlends
BASF Aktiengesellschaft
NEM/F D 205
67056 Ludwigshafen
I.N.R.A. - C.R.J.
Laboratoire de Nutrition et de Santé Alimentaire
Domaine de Vilvert
78352 Jouy-en-Josas Cedex
University of Aberdeen
University Medical School
Environmental and Occupational Medicine
AB25 2 ZD Aberdeen
Karolinska Institute
Huddinge University Hospital
Department of Medical Nutrition
14186 Huddinge
Università degli Studi di Napoli
Federico II
Dip. di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale
80131 Napoli
Maastricht University
Nutrition Research Centre
Department of Human Biology
6200 MD Maastricht
The Netherlands
Yakult UK Ltd.
12-16 Telford Way
W3 7XS London
United Kingdom
Charles University
3rd Medical Faculty
Department of Sport Medicine
11000 Praha 10
Czech Republic
Südzucker AG Mannheim/Ochsenfurt ZAFES
Wormer Straße 11
67190 Obrigheim Pfalz
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
Vitamins and Fine Chemicals Division
4070 Basel
University of Applied Sciences
Dept. of Nutrition and Home Economics
Advanced Technical College
21033 Hamburg
Barilla Alimentare S.p.a.
Research & Development
Via Mantova, 166
43100 Parma
Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena
Department of Nutritional Toxicology
Institute of Nutrition
Dornburger Str. 25
07743 Jena
University College Cork
Department of Food Science, Technology & Nutrition
Division of Nutritional Sciences

Fifth Framework Programme

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